Digicel taps tourist market with vacation SIM
Tari Lovell, chief marketing officer at Digicel

Telecoms group Digicel following the recent roll-out of its vacation SIM cards is looking to double down on revenues from the lucrative tourist market.

"Since our launch and product demo at JAPEX, we continue to see strong demand for the Digicel Vacation SIM from visitors and potential distributors. With all the buzz that's happening around Jamaica as the region's holiday destination of choice, the SIM is the perfect add-on for travellers seeking to save on the cost of their vacation, business trip, or visits to family members," said Tari Lovell, chief marketing officer at Digicel, in response to queries from the Jamaica Observer.

"Digicel's objective is also to provide that peace of mind to visitors and their loved ones back home by providing an affordable solution to stay connected 24/7 while in Jamaica, without worrying about returning home to a huge phone bill," Lovell continued.

The SIM cards unveiled at the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade show held in Montego Bay last week is sold in a package containing a multi-size three-in-one physical SIM card (standard, micro, and nano sizes) and comes loaded with data and air time minutes for visitors to use during their stay on the island. Priced between $1,920-$8,000 plus GCT or US$12-US$50, prepaid plans are offered across 3-28 day plans.

Ranked among the best solution for global connectivity in 2023, the growth of the travel SIM market according to data analytics is expected to witness exponential revenue growth, climbing billions up to 2030 as a result of increased dependence on electronic devices, the need for seamless connectivity, a bullish travel market and growing social networking trends as well as the rise of digital nomads.

The group's regional revenue which is expected to reach US$2 billion by 2025 up from US$1.8 billion last year, a report from ratings agency Fitch in 2022 said would be driven by robust out-turns from tourism's recovery. This, as Digicel, which operates in about 32 markets across the Caribbean and the Pacific, through its range of digital, mobile and Internet products and services, holds significant market shares across much of these markets, particularly those in the Caribbean which are mostly dependent on the tourism industry.

"A rebound in tourism is expected to modestly improve the company's Caribbean revenues, which represent 80 per cent of consolidated revenues," the Fitch report said.

Declining to disclose the projected revenue inflows expected to come from this latest product, Lovell pointed to factors including strong value proposition, ease of purchase and use of the new SIM among key drivers in the demand for the product, which, he believes, will save travellers significant sums in international roaming charges.

"Based on initial demand metrics, we anticipate that visitors from the United States of America will account for the majority of sales since over 60 per cent of our tourists are from that country," he said.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, recently underscoring strong airlifts out of the US, said that growth from this market will continue to lead stopover arrivals. Up to the end of this year Jamaica is forecasted to welcome about 2.8 million visitors, 5 per cent above or almost 200,000 more visitors than it did during its record 2019 year.

"Connectivity is very important. When you look at how guests are rating their experiences within a vacation, they consider accommodation first, and data connectivity second. When a company like Digicel launches a product that allows connectivity even outside of Wi-Fi, it is something we fully endorse, and is something we know will enhance the tourism product," president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Robin Russell said during the JAPEX event last week.

BY KELLARAY MILES Business reporter milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

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