ST ANN — Jamaica's tourism industry received a major boost recently as close to one million radio listeners tuned in to their favourite disc jockeys from several top-rated radio stations in the United Kingdom, who broadcasted live from the newly reimagined Sandals Dunn's River in St Ann.
The exclusive event, jointly organised and sponsored by Sandals Resorts and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), ran for nine days. Dubbed a radio remote, the event included live interviews with members of Sandals Resorts' elite team, executives of the JTB and a number of key tourism stakeholders including Dunn's River Falls and Park, Scotchie's Jerk, Miss T's Restaurant, Worthy Park Estates, Pure Chocolate Jamaica, Chukka Caribbean Adventures, Devon House, Kingston Creative Artwalk, and Bob Marley Museum.
The radio personalities also got a chance to experience the island's vaunted culture, visiting a number of local attractions and historical landmarks when they were not on air.
With Jamaica's tourism sector projecting unprecedented growth, the radio remote was part of Sandals and the JTB's efforts to promote the island in the United Kingdom and to remind travellers that Jamaica is open for business.
Popular station personalities also posted their Jamaican experiences on social network sites, thereby substantially increasing the island's visibility in the UK marketplace.
In stressing the importance of the UK market to Jamaica, Tourism Director Donovan White, who was one of the local personalities interviewed by the radio stations, said: "The UK market is very important to us here in Jamaica. Travellers from that region tend to stay an average of eight to 12 day. Coming out of COVID they are our number two source market."
The jubilant tourism director said Jamaican had now overtaken its Caribbean neighbours to become the number one destination in the Caribbean for UK visitors. "So having the media here from the UK is fantastic for us and we are going to continue to find opportunities to bring them here and to give Jamaican companies a chance to sell their brand in that forum."
Pointing to the JTB partnership with Sandals, White noted "to have the radio stations staying at Sandals Dunn's River is special, because the resort is the newest in the chain. We love new brands, products and we have to help tell the world that this is absolutely one of the places you have to visit."
White, however, pointed out that the radio remote focused more than on just one brand. "We are telling the story that paradise is not being in just one place in Jamaica but exploring its countless attractions."
Sandals Dunn's River General Manager Deryk Meany said the radio remote offered a chance for radio deejays to sample the "true Jamaican and Sandals hospitality; to experience the smiles, the food and the culture. The UK is such an important market for Sandals and Beaches Resorts, and we were happy to be hosting the stations here. This is just one example of our unbeatable worldwide marketing efforts, in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board."
Robert Willis from KMFM Kent was full of praise for the experience — "we were well taken care of and we got to see so much of the local culture," he noted. "And what can I say about the staff and management at Sandals Dunn's River? They were incredible."
Neil Fox from Nation Radio, Greater London, described the experience as tremendous and lauded the JTB and Sandals for "putting such a wonderful trip together and making sure we got to see so much of the island".