Jamaica, Ensemble Partner to Promote Luxury Travel

L-R: Donovan White, Director of Tourisn at the Jamaican Tourist Board, Edmund Barlett, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, and Michael Johnson, President of Ensemble.

On 21SEP, Ensemble execs from Canada and the U.S., travel advisors, hotel reps, and JTB execs - including guest of honour, Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett - assembled at the St. Regis in downtown Toronto to toast a new partnership between Ensemble Travel and the Jamaica Tourist Board to promote the island as a luxury destination.

As Michael Johnson, President of Ensemble, told Open Jaw: “We are already dear friends of Jamaica and while we partner with many tourist boards, this is a strategic initiative to grow the luxury sector.”

Minister Bartlett told the audience that COVID: “made humanity realize that yes, we are one.” Recognizing Johnson and his Ensemble team, he added that they have established a new perspective on luxury travel in Jamaica.

Ensemble execs Debra Loew, Director of PR; Christopher Sherman, Senior VP Communications; Shahla Calani, SVP Marketing; Michael Johnson, President; and Franca Iuele, Partnership Marketing Director.

“Over time we have been seen as a strong destination for a variety of affordability levels. But we have always had the discerning, upscale travellers including celebrities. We have had the reputation as being the playground of the rich and famous since the mid 20th century – and we are urging travellers to come back to luxury.”

Regarding Ensemble, he stated: “As North America’s leading travel agency consortium, they are an ideal partner.”

Elaine Carnegie of Canlink, reps for Jamaica Inn and Tryall Club Villas, with Rosie Dimartino of Polo Travel in Vaughan

Clearly Jamaica is wishing to position itself along the lines of a St. Barths or Anguilla, ideal for even the most discerning client, and one who will have the biggest per capita impact on the local economy.

Ensemble’s Jennifer Kotacka with the JTB’s Dan Hamilton

According to its fans, the island has what the luxury client is looking for: villas, boutique properties, authentic, bespoke experiences and even ways to experience the newest trend, “rustic luxury.” An excellent example is Round Hill Hotel and Villas, touted for its timeless elegance and enjoying a 44% repeat guest factor.

Other hotel reps present at the event included The Tryall Club, Chukka Caribbean Adventures and The Trident Hotel.

The partnership will include FAMs, training and selling tools for Ensemble advisors in both Canada and the US.

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