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JTB to roll out

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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ROSE HALL, St James — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says that by the middle of June the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is slated to roll out a new website.

The project was made possible through a partnership with technology company Google, which specialises in Internet-related services and products.

Bartlett said the new website, which will be the most powerful website in the Caribbean, will be used to market and analyse the tourism industry.

“We will roll it out in the middle of June. It is costing just about $30 million to roll out that kind of a powerhouse of a website that will give us connectivity to all the big portals of the world and to do advertising ourselves, and to stream to destinations and to markets all across the world,” Bartlett said.

“To be able to utilise big data and to create analytics around it, that will make us far more predictive in terms of customer response and [being] targeted in terms of specific market. Laser-like targeting, so that we go into South America, but we are not just crawling all over South America. We are going specifically to Leme, or we are going specifically for Buenos Aires, because that's where the energy is. That's where the energy is to be drawn from,” Bartlett added.

“It is that new ability that we will have in the JTB to geo-market and to be able to be laser sharp in terms of our application, so we will use the dollar better, so we will be able to manage and measure our expenditure and returns,” the minister explained.

Bartlett was giving remarks at the second staging of the Tourism Linkages Network's Smart Destination 2018 Workshop, which was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James on Friday.

Head of public relations at Digicel, Elon Parkinson, who chaired the workshop and whose company was part of the Smart Destination Workshop, was excited about the minister's announcement.

“The minister's big $30-million project with Google is out. You will see how you can plug into that Internet of things, in terms of the streaming, the videos, all of that stuff that the millennials are going for,” Parkinson told those in attendance.

“They want to see what the experience looks like. They want to be a part of it before they get here, so that when they get here, they get maximum value for the tourism dollar that they are spending,” he added.

In the meantime, the minister said networks such as the Linkages Network and the Smart Destination Workshop, “have established Jamaica as the leading tourism country in the world for innovation”.

And, for this reason, the minister said he has been invited to address Asian leaders this week on policy options on sustainable tourism development.

Friday's event took the format of workshops, with discussions led by technology-based companies specifically targeting small and medium tourism enterprises.

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