While Jamaica’s incredible athletes have continued to capture the hearts and the imaginations of the Chinese people, word is also spreading rapidly in China of the beautiful Caribbean island as a tourist destination. Jamaica became an authorised destination for Chinese visitors and received the converted destination status earlier this year.
After unveiling the Jamaica OneLove Loyalty card, and the World Beach Sprint 2009, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett held a meeting with the biggest travel agencies in China to build awareness of Jamaica and get the message out to potential Chinese tourists of what the beautiful Caribbean island has to offer.Chinese travel agents gathered at Jamaica’s VIP Media Lounge at the Westin Beijing Financial Street to hear more about destination Jamaica. Delegates included Tracy Yao from the Beijing Youth Travel Services Co LTD, Molly Zhang from China Travel International LTD, Karen K J. Wang General Manager Beijing Golden Crown International Travel Services Co LTD and Zhang Chao from Hua Yuan International Travel Co Ltd.
Kelly Zhang, PR and Marketing Manager of World Travel Online, anticipates information spreading to China’s ever expanding base of more adventurous travellers.
This July, Jamaica became an approved destination within China, so top of the agenda was the ease with which Chinese tourists could now acquire a visa to Jamaica. Delegates also got to hear about flights between China and Jamaica. The current preferred options are to fly to Jamaica via London or many different U.S. gateways.
Jamaica’s tourist offering provided the most interest. Delegates were keen to hear about the major attractions, Jamaica’s national heritage, museums, how much on average you would need for a holiday, and typically how long you would spend on holiday there.
Tracy Yao of Beijing Youth Services Co LTD said: “As the logo says - ‘Once you go, you know’ and we want to know so we can go!”
Tracy says there has been much interest in Jamaica from the Chinese public but they have had little point of reference to guide them. So the meeting has proved most useful for the Jamaican tourism officials and a great learning exercise for the Chinese tour operators.
The discussions continued in the Birds Nest stadium where Minister Bartlett and deputy Director of Tourism, Zachary Harding invited the travel and tour operators out to see the final of the Men’s 200m. And, as we all know, what a final it proved to be!