Thu | Jun 20, 2024

Visiting travel agents passionate about selling Ja

Published:Tuesday | June 11, 2024 | 12:09 AMDave Rodney/Gleaner Writer
A group of top-tier travel specialists who left Jamaica last Thursday after a four-day visit to the island.
A group of top-tier travel specialists who left Jamaica last Thursday after a four-day visit to the island.


Ten top-tier travel advisers from the northeastern United States (US) were in Jamaica last week on a familiarisation tour called ‘Come Back to Breathtaking’.

The travel specialists were in the island learning about new properties and updating themselves on the ever-changing amenities and enhancements at existing resorts.

Their first stop was the Riu Aquarelle in Trelawny, and, by unanimous accounts from the agents, the 753-room beach resort was a complete knockout.

“It is more than amazing that the resort is running at near capacity in less than a month after its official opening,” Stephanie Jackson, who is with Prestige Tour & Travel in Hopewell Junction, upstate New York, told The Gleaner.

Last Monday night, hundreds of diners could be seen along a corridor by the food court at Riu Aquarelle waiting to take up reservations for one of several gourmet restaurants there, for which reservations are required.

Among the visiting agents was Ann Lewis, president of the Long Island chapter of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents).

Lewis is also northeast regional director for ASTA, covering territories from Delaware on the Atlantic seaboard to Maine in New England.

“I have been selling Jamaica for 18 years and its great to be back to see the new wave of upgrades, renovation and construction,” Lewis said, beaming.

The agents were scrutinising Trelawny properties, including Royalton Hideaway, Ocean Place and Eden Bay. Other scheduled stops were Sandals Dunns River, Sandals Ochi, Sandals Royal Plantation, and the newly renovated Couples Sans Souci in the Ocho Rios, St Ann area.

The visit to Jamaica and an engaging itinerary were curated by Victoria Harper, regional manager (Northeast) for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in New York, who also accompanied the agents.

“Our travel advisers are still very important for optimising our marketing efforts and the JTB is always happy to welcome them here for a hands-on experience,” JTB Chairman John Lynch told The Gleaner.

The group left Jamaica last Thursday after a four-day visit.