MONTEGO BAY, St James — A groundbreaking partnership between two of the island's leading companies, Chukka Caribbean Adventures and spirits giant J Wray & Nephew Limited (JWN), went into effect on December 1, 2021 and could spark a revival of tourism on Jamaica's south coast.
The deal between the powerhouses sees a General Sales Agent Agreement signed by Chukka Caribbean and JWN for the Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience (JSAERE) as a first step.
The partnership will allow for JSAERE to focus on the quality of the visitor experience at the attraction to ensure that the tour, gift shop and restaurant deliver the Jamaican excellence long associated with the Appleton Estate brand.
Meanwhile, Chukka Caribbean will use its expertise and relationships with cruise passengers and stopover visitors to deliver an enhanced experience for visitors to the island. Chukka will, therefore, be fully responsible for the management of sales, marketing, ticketing, and invoicing for the St Elizabeth-based attraction and will ensure the enhanced customer experience begins from pick-up point (hotel or cruise ship) to arrival at the JSAERE.
“We are delighted to partner with Chukka, the largest nature-adventure tour operator in the Caribbean, on this initiative which should result in a significant increase in the number of visitors to the south coast which boasts a number of unique experiences for tourists and locals to enjoy such as the JSAERE,” noted Jean Phillipe Bayer, managing director of J Wray & Nephew Limited.
CEO of Chukka Marc Melville said that one of the main goals behind the partnership is to also bring a renewed focus “to one of the most beautiful areas” in Jamaica, [the south coast], combining the rum experience with other attractions in the area.
“The uniqueness of the south coast…its many attractions…the wonderful people…that's what we truly want to bring into focus. It will also give our visitors more options…a change from the standard north coast experiential activities…and a kind of diversity which is second to none,” Melville said.
With more than 600 employees locally and over 350 more at locations across the Caribbean, Chukka Caribbean Adventures is not only one of the biggest attractions in the region but also a major pull factor for Jamaica's tourism sector. The company operates more than 60 adventure tours for all ages in Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The world-renowned Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience is named after Appleton Estate's legendary Master Blender Joy Spence, who has the distinction of being the first woman master blender in the spirits industry.
The attraction includes a beautiful air-conditioned welcome centre, state-of-the-art theatre, full-service restaurant, and interactive stations where guests get to learn about Appleton Estate's unique rum-making process. This includes visits to the distillery and ageing warehouse and a guided tasting of Appleton Estates's core range of premium aged rums as well as a gift shop which sells exclusive Appleton Estate offerings. It remains one of the most popular attractions in Jamaica.