Business

Kingston hotels give support to Top Events Jamaica initiative

BY BALFORD HENRY
Senior reporter
balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Executive Director Dr Carey Wallace says that the Fund is excited about the support its new Top Events Jamaica initiative is getting from local hotels.

However his response was exactly what was expected at last Tuesday's first session which ended with five hotels in the greater New Kingston area — the R Hotel, Spanish Court, Hotel Four Seasons, Terra Nova and the AC Marriott Hotel — all signing up to become a part of the initiative.

“I am extremely excited to see the support that we have gotten from the industry so early on, and I am looking forward to seeing many others come on board,” the TEF boss said.

His sentiments were echoed by Tourism Linkages Network Director, Carolyn McDonald-Riley, who stated that any initiative designed to bring greater visibility to Jamaica's tourism offerings, must include hotels.

“They are one of the most important players in Jamaica's tourism industry, and Top Events was designed in a way that hotels of all sizes can benefit from the initiative. Some of Kingston's most notable hotels have signed on to the initiative, which I believe should serve as a signal to the industry that this initiative is not one to be ignored,” McDonald Riley said.

The Top Events Jamaica initiative, the latest campaign from the Tourism Linkages Council, is designed to promote the best events that the island has to offer by increasing awareness and patronage.

Officially launched on April 17 by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, Top Events Jamaica highlights entertainment, sports, shopping, health and wellness, conferences and food events.

This is done through close partnerships with hoteliers, promoters, airports, local attractions, transportation providers, restaurants, Airbnb hosts, as well as tour operators. The initiative will also harness the power of technology through social media, a user-friendly mobile app and a microsite.

Top Events will be engaging hoteliers of all sizes, with the aim of achieving greater inclusivity in the industry and create a more equitable distribution of the earnings from tourism.

As part of the collaboration with the hotel industry, Top Events will be conducting training sessions with concierge staff to better sensitise them on the initiative, as well as teach them how to utilise the website and mobile app and direct guest inquiries. Additionally, it will provide hotels with monthly event flyers and other event promotional material while offering occasional event ticket giveaways for guests. Feedback from guests using the platform will then be used to help further improve the initiative.

Visitor participation in events and activities islandwide is expected to increase through strategic partnerships and leveraging, the power of technology, social media and advertising. To facilitate this new development, Top Events Jamaica includes an easy-to-use website and user-friendly mobile app to increase visitor awareness and participation in the many events held in Jamaica each month.

The initiative engages all levels of stakeholders within the local tourism industry, regardless of size, in order to both expand the industry as well as ensure maximum inclusivity.

To be certified as a 'Top Event', interested parties must complete the application form available at www.topeventsinjamaica.com, upload a promotional flyer (JPEG & layered design file), high-resolution images from the last staging of the event (two to four pictures), as well as promotional videos, and a video message explaining why the event should be listed.

Applicants should also include two to three sentences about the event, which can be uploaded to the Top Events webpage and provide four (4) complimentary tickets for press and social media giveaways.


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