Speaking at the Destination Jamaica Digital Launch, Jamaica’s minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett underscored the importance of technology in reaching the ministry’s growth targets. These goals include attracting five million visitors by 2021, generating US $5 billion in tourism earnings, increasing direct jobs to 125,000 and adding 15,000 new hotel rooms.
Bartlett told attendees that with advances in connectivity and the emergence of new business models, destinations must keep pace with technological development to remain competitive.
“What this means is that many new and emerging destinations are now aggressively competing with, and in some cases outcompeting, for a share of the global tourism pie,” said Bartlett. “We must adapt to these changing modalities and in most instances be able to anticipate further changes in the market so as to be flexible, efficient and competitive.”
As part of the ministry’s ‘5x5x5 growth plan,’ the Jamaica Tourist Board recently rolled out a new website. The new site is consistent with the ministry’s aim to become a part of the ‘smart world,’ which increasingly relies on information and communications technology to sell destinations. Among other things, the website provides the opportunity for booking, allowing the board to better understand its market and what potential visitors are looking for.
“We hope to reap the rich rewards by using the data collected to design customized marketing campaigns which appeal to specific types of travelers,” said Bartlett.