Opposition Spokesperson on Tourism and Travel Service Development, Mr. Edmund Bartlett today said he and the people of Jamaica will accept nothing less than an clear-cut and accurate account of the marketing strategies and plans which were crafted prior to and will be instituted after London 2012, from the Minister of Tourism Dr. Wykeham McNeil’s Press Conference tomorrow. The Press Conference was called after Mr. Bartlett raised serious concerns about the lack of a discernable marketing strategy for the London 2012 Olympics and a very strong public perception that the Jamaican government had one grand party in London.
Mr. Bartlett said that the people of Jamaica deserve to know whether especially with the huge amounts of money expended in what are very challenging times for most Jamaicans. Mr. Bartlett concerns are further heightened, following a letter in a local newspaper today by a Jamaican living in England pointing out that the ‘Jamaica House at O2 Arena’ paid for by taxpayers dollars was a logistical “nightmare”, “unclear” on objectives, not engaging for attendees and devoid of information on Jamaica. These views he said reflect those of other attendees at ‘Jamaica House at O2’ in London.
Mr. Bartlett went on to reiterate that the UK market is the weakest of Jamaica’s three major markets, the others being the US and Canada, and that Jamaica may very well have missed a huge opportunity to capitalize on the London 2012 bonanza. Additionally, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMPRO spent in the region of 150 million of taxpayers’ dollars on London 2012 activities NONE of which was expended on athletes or the media exposure received.
Mr. Bartlett further noted that, it was long established that Jamaica would have performed well at this year’s Olympics. In that vein, a solid marketing strategy encompassing heavy social media work, inclusive of Twitter and Facebook, would have in real time channel direct benefits to the Tourism industry and the broader Jamaican economy. Instead Mr. Bartlett said during the Olympics the Minister of State, Mr. Damion Crawford tweeted on the night of Tuesday August 7 that he and others “a shell dung a club a london”.
See Newspaper Letter and Twitter message from Minister Damian Crawford below.
What were the objectives of Jamaica House at O2 Arena?
Thursday, August 16, 2012
At the end of the London Olympics we saw the closure of the much-vaunted Jamaica House at the O2 Arena, located near the Olympic Village.
Initially, visitors noted the three different areas where people could congregate: Jamaica House, Proud 2 and The Terrace. Jamaica House had the main stage big screen, food and drinks outlets; Proud 2, a bar with two smaller screens and The Terrace, an outdoor area with bed-seating, bar and food outlets. In addition, attached to Jamaica House was a Things Jamaican store selling Jamaican merchandise.
Without a doubt, it was a great space for us Jamaicans, friends and well-wishers to celebrate our athletes’ spectacular achievements and to revel in the party atmosphere. But, like many others, I was disappointed that Jamaica House failed to provide information about Jamaica: that is, history, infrastructure, business opportunities, education or vision. While Things Jamaican did a roaring business, this particular opportunity should have been widened to other businesses, allowing them also to display and benefit from their wares being sold to the hundreds of customers who passed through their doors.
In terms of logistics, it was a nightmare. People could book online for one day only; if they wished to return for other days, they were unable to do so. To add to the confusion, people who registered online and turned up were unable to enter because they were not on the register/attendance list. They would then line up on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition, there was no provision for young children, disabled people or the elderly, especially if they had to wait in a line for hours on end.
Bear in mind that hundreds of visitors passed through the Jamaica House doors over the 16 days – it opened from 4 pm to 12 midnight. There was nothing to engage the audience for that length of time, even though the entertainers who did perform in small segments did a very commendable job.
For me there was nothing in Jamaica House that a regular visitor to Jamaica, child, elderly person, potential returning resident or tourist, could have learnt about Jamaica’s past, where it’s at, or the direction for the nation’s future. Other than showing people how well we can run and party – which we already know – we failed to show the hundreds of visitors what else they could learn or what Jamaica is good at. Things like our creativity, manufacturing or techonolgy industries, business opportunities or where to visit off the beaten track. What the organisers did create were brief morning sessions where selected invitees were able to attend and obtain information from visiting ministers. This process excluded many potential investors from the general public.
Overall, the objectives for Jamaica House remain unclear. In comparison, Birmingham had a successful event. So, what was the main aim for JH? What did it set out to achieve? The question is (even though JH was beautifully decorated and lavishly furnished), what was the real return on invesment for Jamaica, in real monetary terms, economic or employment opportunities?
Really, there were a number of things wrong with Jamaica House from logistics, access, lack of information to marketing and general organisation, and I feel we missed a great opprtunity to truly connect with the diaspora, and the wider local, national and international public. Though disappointed with JH in its entirety, I must say it was a great place to be for the vibe and celebrating our success on the track, music and food!
Me,gramps morgon, qq, gyptian, sheron burke a shell dung a club a london
5:41 PM – 7 Aug 12 via Mobile Web · Embed this Tweet