New Jamaican tour operation launched
Company owned by Jamaican-born Aeon Cummings will deliver all-inclusive tour offerings starting later this yearWednesday, April 21, 2021
BY DURRANT PATE
A new Jamaican tour operation, Otaheti Travel, has been launched. Otaheti Travel says it aims to deliver all-inclusive tour offerings on the island.
The company, which is owned and operated by Jamaican-born Aeon Cummings, is based in Connecticut in the United States. Otaheti Travel was officially launched earlier this month, but Cummings plans to wait until late summer or early fall to offer his tailor-made Jamaican tour packages, expanding Otaheti Travel offerings during the winter season.
Jamaica's current COVID-19 protocols while not mandating a quarantine period for visitors, restricts travellers to the Resilient Corridors on the north and south coasts and they must stay in protocol compliant approved accommodations.
“We want to deliver awareness experiences for our clients by using many of the people we know on the island.
“The goal is to provide trips that enrich people's lives and create lifelong memories, using the vast pool of talented underutilised human capital in a sustainable, responsible way. The itineraries will focus on specific locations, locals and experiences on the north coast or the southeast and south-west coasts,” Cummings offered.
Details of the tour packages
Explaining the concept of the tour packages Cummings remarked that, “a local artist, for example, might be the official driver on a trip, taking travellers off the beaten path to get an understanding of local culture. We'll stop at jerk shacks as part of one itinerary and learn how to cook Jamaican food, visit small galleries with resident artists on another or hike mountains on a third.”
He had high on praise for travel advisors and plans to work with them, offering incentives and a 15 per cent commission. Although there are no set prices for tour packages at this time, Cummings informed that packages will differ from another, depending upon the clients' “dreams”.
However, there will be three price levels of silver, gold and platinum, which will range from approximately US$2,500 to US$4,000 per person, including air, high-end accommodations in villas and boutique properties, all meals, excursions and the services of a local guide and driver.
“I like the time frame of five to seven nights with a group of six to eight people who know one another. We're open to taking kids along who are used to travelling,” the Otaheti Travel boss said.
The Kingston and St Andrew Parish itinerary is geared primarily to arts and culture aficionados. Experiences fall into four groups of client interests, focused on arts and culture, adventure, foodie tours and wellness. A fifth experience, labelled corporate training and development, focuses on team-building activities, retreats and conferences.
Cummings highlighted that he was motivated to create the packages based on his travels to Jamaica over the years with his brother noting that they wanted to get back to exploring Jamaica as they did when they were growing up.
“We knew that there are travellers who want immersive, customised tours that explore the hidden tourism gems on the island, including local artists, chefs, musicians, farmers as well as some of the lesser-known attractions,” Cummings said.
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