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Western Air recognizing Jamaican route benefits

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Web site: http://www.westernairbahamas.com/
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Western Air recognizing Jamaican route benefits

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Sep 03, 2010

http://freeport.nassauguardian.net/nati ... 620825.php

Western Air recognizing Jamaican route benefits
By K. NANCOO-RUSSELL, FN Senior Reporter
September 2, 2010

Jamaica – Since adding the Nassau to Jamaica routes to its portfolio earlier this year, Western Air has placed focus on promoting the destination to Baha-mians, most recently partnering with a number of hotels to host a group of travel agents and media personnel on a familiarization trip to the island.

In April, Bahamian-owned Western Air began flying between Nassau and Kingston (Norman Manley International Airport) daily except Saturdays, and bet-ween Nassau and Montego Bay (Sangster International Airport) twice weekly on Fridays and Sundays.

The two routes were discontinued by Air Jamaica, which was puchased by Caribbean Airlines.

Regional Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board Rosemarie Johnson said, there have been urgent strides by Jamaica to attract regional tourism, especially as the tourism industry continues to be affected by the state of the economy.

"We have always recognized the importance of travel between our Caribbean countries. It's very important ... and more so now, we welcome a partner like Western Air," she said.

"We are always looking at new markets, especially in these challenging times when we need to diversify and I think Jamaica would attract a lot of our Caribbean visitors. We share similarities, we all do, but there are differences which make each of us unique in what we have to offer."

Addressing a major concern expressed by some about the incidence of crime and the safety of visitors, Johnson pointed out that crime is concentrated in certain areas and does not, for the most part, affect tourists, she said.

"I think each and every country has some elements of safety concerns. There are places you go that you would not leave your regular part but if one were to look at (crime) in Jamaica as it relates to the visitors, it is miniscule. There is really no hard crime against visitors, the visitors are safe here."

Repeat visitors represent approximately 45 percent of the tourists coming to the island, a fact Johnson said the Board is cognizant of.

"We are doing something good here. We care, we realise the value of tourism to our country so we have been getting that message out to everyone, all of Jamaica. It's that care," she said.

"Harassment is an issue and I guess it's the economic need of wanting to sell something and if someone sees someone harassing the guests, then there is another Jamaican who would say, 'Leave the visitor alone' and it is that kind of caring that is good."

Selling the island is not a difficult task she noted, because the country is known for its rich culture especially its music and cuisine and the warmth of its people.

"We have the size, we have the diversity of the resort areas, we have a tremendous number of attractions, and each day we are increasing our attractions, we find that is one of our key selling points that makes us different. Each area you visit, you can visit many attractions within the area."

Although the price of air fare within the region continues to challenge those charged with promoting regional tourism, Johnson said she expects the Western Air flight to be successful.

"We have welcomed to our shores Western Air to expose, to build more awareness between The Bahamas and Jamaica because our efforts here are really to stimulate the flow of travel visitors between our countries," she said.

"We have our travel partners here. I'm sure they're going to find Jamaica very exciting, appealing and attractive, which would make it an easy sell to their clientele."

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