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Jamaica tourism targets India via cricket cup

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Tourist Board use World Cup `07 as platform for promotion


NEW BALL: The former West Indies Cricketer Courtney Walsh, the ambassador at large, Jamaica, with Mr David Shields, Deputy Director of Tourism-Marketing, Jamaica Tourist Board, and Ms Pauline Nelson, Director Communications of the Local Organising Committee of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, at a press conference in Mumbai on Friday. — Paul Noronha

Mumbai , Nov. 10

Come for the cricket and discover the country. That's the message the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) sent to India at a press conference at the Cricket Club of India on Friday.

With the ICC World Cup just five months away, the board is visiting India for the first time to promote Jamaica, as a tourist destination for the burgeoning Indian market. "We want to capitalise on the growing wealth in India using the 2007 World Cup as the platform," said Mr David L. Shields, Deputy Director of Tourism-Marketing, JTB.

`Feel alright'

The board has segmented the market for Jamaica into three sections: Leisure travellers in the 35 and over age group, high end MICE and the young trendsetter honeymoon couples, and is working with Trac Representations to determine the particular segments and packages that offer the most potential in India post-World Cup.

"At the end of the day, we want India to come and experience Jamaica and see what it means to come together and feel alright," said Mr Robert Bryan, Head of the Local World Cup Organising Committee, paraphrasing the lyrics from a Bob Marley song.

As far the World Cup is concerned, the ICC has selected five Indian tour operators to offer packages for the event.

The base package starts at Rs 1,20,000, including airfare and accommodation for seven days and six nights, and is available from SOTC, Travel India and Trust Travel & Tours in Mumbai and Air Cruise Travel and Friends Glove in New Delhi.

Visas will be issued on arrival, and arrangements have been made to allow visitors to travel throughout the Caribbean on the visa issued at their entry point.

Jamaica has added 2,000 rooms this year to the existing 25,000 and plans to add another 1,200 rooms next year. The board has also initiated the "Host Jamaica Program", whereby 160 Jamaican homes will function as bed & breakfasts starting at $30 a night. Improvements to the international airports in Montego Bay and Kingston have been made to accommodate the expected increase in traffic.

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