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We were impressed when Jamaica announced they had hired crisis recovery expert Jessica Shannon(opens in a new tab) to make sense of the debris left after the COVID-19 “bomb”. Then we were even more impressed when the country opened its borders to international travellers on June 15th. The island, whose economy relies on the tourism industry to bring in a third of its income, has been a trailblazer in finding unique strategies to rebuild its previously booming market.
In a recent interview(opens in a new tab) with Forbes, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund C. Bartlett revealed some of the outcomes of their tourism recovery strategising.
Targeting Gen C: A New Type of Traveller
The customer ‘psychographic’ (not demographic) is one that spans generations but is united by their connectivity and concern. They are digitally orientated and concerned with the community. Jamaica is regarding this group as the overwhelming majority in a post-COVID-19 world, a group that has seen global devastation and are now wanting to see a positive change in the travel industry.
This group has new needs and concerns, and their top priority is to feel safe, a topic we have discussed(opens in a new tab) in detail. Jamaica has used this group as the target audience around which their strategies are built.
Investing in Intensive Hospitality Training
The island is offering free online training programs directed specifically at hospitality staff. They are educating their workers on the country’s protocols and changes not only to ensure safety but also to improve travellers’ experiences. The country is embracing the idea of community and cooperation ensuring that all partners and associates are up to date on protocols and are supported enough to be able to reopen.
Jamaica’s tourism industry is not letting COVID-19 get the best of them. They are improving their digital processes, for example, making contactless payment readily available across the country. They are also opening up and developing communication channels, with visitors receiving health messages to remind and update them on protocols. In the words of Bartlett himself, “we will see a brand-new light at the end of the tunnel as we all come together, across regions and across industries, to address the new normal of travel and recover together.”
This is a great example of a tourism board being proactive, supporting their partners, keeping future visitors informed, and looking forward with positivity. Make sure you are keeping up to date with your own country’s protocols and making the most of any available support. If you are struggling and looking for ideas, check out Jamaica’s strategy(opens in a new tab) and see if you can pick up a few tips to implement yourself!
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