NEW YORK -- The Jamaica Tourist Board launched a "major recovery
program" to lessen possible visitor fallout after the recent deadly
protests over a hike in gas prices and taxes.
The most visible component of the plan is a larger television
presence on national cable channels like CNN, the Discovery
Channel, the Travel Channel and the Arts and Entertainment channel.
The accelerated television push began on April 29 and is scheduled
to last five weeks.
The tourist board pulled its "One Love" television spots after a
31% increase in gas prices on April 16 prompted three days of
rioting that left nine people dead. As a result of the
demonstrations, airlines suspended flights, cruise lines altered
itineraries and ground operators halted some of their services.
Other components of the recovery program include:A beefed-up trade advertising campaign in the U.S., Canada and
the U.K.A series of travel agent "fly-ins," in conjunction with Air
Jamaica, American Airlines and other carriers serving Jamaica.An accelerated schedule of seminars, attended by senior tourism
officials, for the trade in all primary and secondary markets.Meetings with major incentive houses and meeting planners in
the U.S.A "beautification" of the major resort areas, including Montego
Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, undertaken by the Tourism Product
Meanwhile, Jamaican Prime Minister P. J. Patterson on April 27
cut in half the gasoline tax hike that raised prices at the pump
from $1.55 to $2.01 per gallon. The prime minister said he would
announce new measures shortly to make up the $37 million budget
shortfall as a result of the gas tax rollback.