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Kingston, Jamaica: August 23, 2015 – As Jamaicans all across the globe continue to celebrate Usain Bolt’s victory to retain his 100 metre title at the 15th IAAF World Championships now underway in Beijing, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, is expressing confidence that the win will help to further boost efforts to market destination Jamaica.
This as Minister McNeill and Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook, will travel to Beijing, China, this week to participate in activities aimed at marketing destination Jamaica during the championships, being held from August 23-30, 2015. They depart for Beijing on August 25.
Minister McNeill said “I want to commend Usain on successfully defending his title in such fine style. His latest victory will give a significant boost to the Jamaica House promotional efforts. The nation rejoices as Bolt once again creates history.” He added that “it’s good to hear reggae music back in the Birds Nest in Beijing and Usain has again put Jamaica on the front pages all across the globe.”
While in Beijing, Minister McNeill and Mr. Pennicook will attend a number of Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) promotional events, which are intended to market Jamaica and further strengthen the links between China and Jamaica. This includes the JTB-hosted Jamaica House Beijing, which seeks to capitalize on the global focus on the Jamaica track and field team at this major sporting event.
Modeled on the Jamaica House concept which proved to be the highly successfully at the 2012 London Olympics, the IAAF World Championships Moscow 2013, and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Jamaica House Beijing seeks to present an alluring ‘snapshot’ of Jamaican culture, food and music, highlighting the destination both as a place to visit as well as to do business.
Tour operators TUI Travel and Virgin Holidays both credit meetings at Jamaica House at the 2012 London Olympics with their decision to increase service and investment in Jamaica. In the following year, 2013, Jamaica had 4.5% growth in visitor arrivals out of the UK, breaking four consecutive years of negative growth out of this market; 2014 saw 17.1% growth and already for 2015 this important market is up 24%. It is hoped that the Beijing promotional activities will positively impact the China market in much the same way and help to attract more Chinese visitors to the island.
In February 2014, the Jamaican Government approved the conditional waiving of visa requirements for Chinese nationals travelling to Jamaica for tourism purposes for periods of 30 days or less in a bid to ease travel between the two countries.
Minister McNeill and Mr. Pennicook will return to the island on Sunday, August 30, 2015.