KINGSTON, Jamaica, Saturday August 13, 2016 – It's more than just medals Jamaica is going after at the Olympic Games in Rio. So even with a Jamaican being the world's fastest man aiming to create history for perhaps the final time, it won't be all fun and games for a special tourism team in Brazil's capital.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says marketing destination Jamaica will be their number one priority at Jamaica House, a facility established by the Jamaica Tourist Board to market the island during the summer games.
In an interview with the Jamaica Information Service, he said several meetings with tour operators and airline partners are on the agenda.
"We are also meeting with the Minister [of Tourism] and the head of the tourism authorities in Brazil. The whole intention is to build a relationship and to establish the kind of links that will enable connectivity from that area into Jamaica," Bartlett explained.
But he acknowledged that the performance of Jamaican athletes, including track star Usain Bolt, will also help in the marketing effort. He said they are expected to do well and the country's image as a destination should be boosted as a result of that.
"The power of the performance of our athletes will be a strong pull to bring people to Jamaica House and once we have them there in a captive audience, we can work with them," he said.
Jamaica House is a concept that was first developed around the London 2012 Olympic Games. It will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience Jamaican culture in an interactive way. Daily operations include a host of activities: destination presentations to the travel trade, culinary exposés, consumer promotions, VIP client hosting, and live viewing of the races.
About US$767,000 is being spent on the initiative, with most of the money coming through sponsorship.