ONE of the world's leading online travel company, Expedia Inc, is reporting an increase in online bookings to Jamaica.
The company said that there had been a 10 per cent increase in demand for travel to Jamaica on its global network of online travel booking sites during the first half of this year, when compared to the similar period in 2011.
The global network includes more than 100 Expedia and Hotels.com-branded sites as well as Hotwire; corporate travel provider Egencia; and more than 10,000 affiliate sites through Expedia Affiliate Network.
Expedia said that the majority of the travel demand is coming from consumers in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
"Jamaica is consistently one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean on Expedia and Hotels.com sites, and has historically also been exceptionally strategic when it comes to participating in new marketing initiatives in our online travel marketplace," said Demetrius Canton, director of market management for the Caribbean, Expedia Lodging Partner Services.
Canton said that attending the recently staged local tourism trade show — Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) and meeting with Jamaican travel supply partners — afforded a valuable opportunity to learn firsthand the priorities and best identify solutions to address the specific business needs.
Over the past year, Expedia has also been working closely with the local tourism authority and other members of the local hospitality community to generate incremental travel demand to the Caribbean destination.
Meanwhile, Jamaica's Director of Tourism John Lynch said that Jamaica could not find a more perfect partner than Expedia to support the country's marketing efforts.
"By creating an online marketing strategy driven by their expert advice, we were able to generate more direct bookings from traditional markets and venture into new emerging markets," Lynch said.
"Jamaica was a pioneer in using Expedia's innovative online tools and we are very happy with the results, as this is the sixth time we've collaborated with them on campaigns to support our hospitality offerings," Lynch stated.
During the three-day staging of JAPEX, the online travel company unveiled plans for Jamaica's latest marketing campaign, which is scheduled to be launched on November 7, on Expedia.com, and which will run through the end of February.
The campaign is aimed at promoting bookings to Jamaica during the 2012-2013 winter tourist season, which runs from December 15 to April, and is expected to generate additional exposure and travel demand for participating properties.
The campaign will feature several high-impact tactics, including a planned Expedia homepage take-over for Jamaica on Cyber Monday. Promotions typically drive approximately two-thirds of the travel demand to Jamaica on Expedia sites, according to the company.