As expected, John Lynch was appointed director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the JTB and the country's global marketing. The appointment takes effect Dec. 1.

The position had been vacant since Basil Smith decided not to renew his expired contract in October.

Lynch, John"Lynch's knowledge, experience and strength in sales make him an ideal candidate to fill the available post," said Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett. "He is one of the finest marketers in the tourism business today, possessing the expertise and energy that we need to meet the fierce challenges facing Jamaica in the global tourism marketplace today."

Bartlett said the status of the tourism industry worldwide coupled with the current economic climate "demands new creative thinking and a new strategy to cope with the ever-increasing challenges."

Prior to the resignations of the executive committee on Nov. 17, the JTB had unanimously recommended that the sitting chairman (Lynch) be considered for the tourism post in view of his global experience and his ability to facilitate a smooth transition.

Lynch recently left Unique Vacations, the worldwide representative for Sandals Resorts. He had been executive vice president of Unique Vacations for 16 years, with responsibility for public relations, sales promotions and group sales. Lynch is credited with being a major force in the development of the Sandals brand.

Lynch also had served the JTB in many capacities, including senior manager of trade services, regional director based in Chicago and deputy director of tourism, responsible for sales, marketing, conventions and overseas offices.

He currently serves as third vice president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, chairing its marketing committee. Lynch also sits on the board of directors of the Caribbean Tourism Development Corp., a joint venture between the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association.

Bartlett said that Lynch "is part of a renewed thrust to drive Jamaica's tourism industry to new heights."

Lynch said that he "is eager to give back to Jamaica's tourism industry.

“I look forward to working with the new board as we protect and grow our market share in this challenging period,” he said.

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