The always gracious Sandra Scott
Annika Klint and Teressa Taylor
Raquel Queensborough of the JTB with Tina Yap
For a country mercifully snow-free, itâ€˜s interesting to learn that snow is big in Jamaica.
Big, that is, if you are in the tourism business. â€œWorking for the Jamaica Tourist Board, Iâ€™ve come to appreciate the importance of snow,â€ laughs Sandra Scott, who has spent the past four years in Toronto – when not shovelling snow – as the Regional Director for Canada.
And heavy snowfall up here isnâ€™t important to just those big all-inclusives. The smaller properties love the windfall of Canadians that a good blizzard brings, and are seeing a growing number of Canucks seeking a different style of holiday at smaller intimate resorts.
With that in mind, a group representing Jamaicaâ€™s small inns recently convened in Toronto to give agents an insight into their properties, their facilities and the warm welcome that is guaranteed to thaw a mid-winter Canadian heart.
Annika Klint, repping Bay View Villas, describes the Blue Mountain property and its 28 suites as perfect for the ecotourist. It appeals to hikers, birdwatchers and those who treasure solitude â€“ itâ€™s a â€œbest-kept secretâ€ according to Klint.
Teressa Taylor spoke on behalf of the luxury resort group known as Resort to the Best, and says the experience at their smaller properties, such as Round Hill Hotel & Villas and Jamaica Inn, compared to the big all-inclusives, is as different as â€œnight and day â€“ the feeling is so intimate and cozy â€“ and I think the repeat factor is so high because guests feel theyâ€™re returning to stay with their own family!â€
Tina Yap from FdR (you know, the place with the famous one-nanny-per-guest-family program) reports that many guests wistfully ask if they can take their nanny home. Oh well, at least they can warmly recommend them by name to their friends they suggest go to FdR â€“ and they do.
And all in all the future is looking good for Jamaica, both large properties and small. Business is up year over year, and this winter they will be welcoming Canadians arriving on new flights operating from London and Victoria.
Now if only there was some snow. The Jamaicans canâ€™t wait.