Philip Rose, regional director, Northeast USA of the Jamaica Tourist Board, (JTB) told compatriots at a Nov. 19, Diaspora reception at the Campari Group lounge in Manhattan, that the island nation was poised to welcome a groundbreaking, 4.3 million visitors, that will bring in close to US$4 million to the tourism market by the end of this year.
Rose, who joined the New York team one year ago, after serving in Canada, said the retention of each dollar spent in Jamaica has increased, which means, most of the money spent in Jamaica, is staying in Jamaica, and benefiting the small vendor.
He said tourism is doing remarkably well, noting that it facilitates economic empowerment, like never, with a remarkable 337 thousand Jamaicans, who are now, directly or indirectly employed in the industry.
Rose thanked diasporans for their unwavering commitment to the JTB, and credits nationals with helping to boost the Island’s economic growth.
“This is why you are so vitally important to tourism. Before anyone goes to Jamaica, someone meets a Jamaican, so you represent an extended part of our sales force, as fantastic as Marcia Sinclair and her team are.
Rose called on nationals to help fill 80,000 more hotels with 12,000 rooms, slated for completion by this winter, and will add to the overall tourism market over the next four years.
“We know that we cannot fill the hotels on our own, so we need your help,” he implored the Jamaican audience, adding. “This is why the JTB is here. We want to thank you, and ask for your help, because I know throughout the years, many of you have been true, positive and powerful extensions of our sales force, I sincerely thank you for that.”
“You are also vitally important, because when you go to Jamaica, you don’t only stay in the hotel, as soon as you land, one of the first things you do, is walk to the local stores and bars, to support vendors, so they see the money immediately,” he noted.
Marcia P. Sinclair, district sales Manager, Northeast USA, who operates from the Miami office, welcomed nationals, stating that the JTB, is replicating events such as the Diaspora reception, across America and Canada, to update Jamaicans on progress in the homeland, and thanked resort partners, for their commitment to tourism.
Chief Representative Officer of Jamaica National Bank, Janice McIntosh, noted that the institution has a global reach, and was proud to partner with the JTB. She assured nationals that the institution was working on their behalf, offering investment opportunities,and vacation savings and discount packages.
She praised Jamaica for topping the Stock Exchange globally, and called on compatriots to invest with the bank, adding that when they invest with Jamaica National Bank, they were investing in Jamaica, calling the country and its people a brand with infectious qualities.
“Being Jamaican is not only a brand, but an experience,” assured McIntosh.
Newly appointed Consul General to New York, Alsion Wilson, who has lived in New York for 38 years and felt proud that she knows many in the Diaspora, expressed excitement about the progress taking place in the Jamaica tourism industry.
“I am very excited that this is happening in the tourism industry,” said CG Wilson, adding that the 12,000 more hotel rooms that will be added to the tourism market, show that much building is taking place in Jamaica.
The diplomat said she was proud to talk about all the great things, being done to build the island’s economy.
The reception, celebrated with music by former Fab 5 member, record producer, guitarist, singer and A.R.T.S Entertainment artiste, Glenroy Samuels, welcomed Palladium Hotel Group Business Development Manager, PA, Francina Mason, who presented a lucky ticket winner, with a hotel stay in Jamaica.
Others included: Melia Braco Village Jamaica, Decameron All Inclusive Hotels & Resort, Vacation Express, Holiday Inn, and Couples Resorts, who presented door prizes of hotel stays to lucky winners. A lucky winner received a bottle of wine from Royalton Luxury Resorts.
Delicious Jamaican food, was provided by chef, Alton Henry, of Taste of 7 Catering, Caribbean Soul Cuisines, Newark NJ.