Negril unveils agent, client incentives

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NEGRIL, Jamaica -- Quiet Negril is starting to make some noise.

In a push aimed at agents, the laid-back destination on Jamaica's west coast is trumpeting its appeal as an alternative to the busier resorts of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

Baldwin Powell, chairman of the Negril Chamber of Commerce's marketing committee, said a majority of the city's resorts are offering agent incentives and packages to boost high-season business.

The incentives are designed to "add value to the product," said Daniel Grizzle, chairman of the Negril Resort Board and owner of the Charela Inn.

Many hotels are targeting discounts at niche markets, while some properties are focusing on special rates and incentives for agents, who account for more than 80% of all business to Negril, Grizzle said.

For example, SuperClubs' Grand Lido Negril and Hedonism II are offering agents a 30% discount on rack rates from Jan. 5 to April 30, and a 50% discount from May 1 to Dec. 19.

For details, call (800) 467-8737.

Agents can earn a $10 cash bonus for every night booked at Couples Swept Away Negril and Couples Negril.

The two properties also are promoting an early-booking incentive that offers a reduction of $805 on a one-week stay for two. Rates start at $2,600 per couple.

Bookings must be made by Jan. 31 for travel between Jan. 1 and Dec. 20.

To book, call (800) COUPLES.

The Charela Inn is targeting the family market with a 25% discount on winter rates through April 30.

The resort's family package costs $124 a night, double, for a five-night minimum stay.

Children younger than age 10 stay free in their parent's room; the rate for youngsters ages 10 to 15 is $18 a night.

To book, call (876) 957-4277.

The Negril Tree House offers families a winter rate discount of 25%. Rates start at $118 a night, double, and children ages 12 and younger stay free when sharing their parents' room.

For details, call (876) 957-4287.

In addition to incentives and special rates, several of Negril's restaurants and properties have a new look this winter.

For example, 3C's Restaurant and Bar, a Negril landmark, created an open-air dining area and separate facilities for private lunch and dinner meetings.

The Tensing Pen Hotel added three oceanview rooms, raising its inventory to 16 cottages.

Another small hotel, Crystal Waters Villas, spent $150,000 on renovations and staff retraining.

A member of the Sandals chain, Beaches Sandy Bay, formerly the Beaches Inn, reopened after a three-month renovation project.

New resort features are a conference room and a nursery. Other enhancements include a remodeled children's area, resurfaced tennis courts and an expanded fitness center.

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