Jamaica pushes aside unsafe image to attract tourists

STAMFORD, CT: Jamaica is entering crisis mode after 25 people were

killed during violent clashes in Kingston last month. Peter Martin &

Associates (PM&A), a PR firm that has worked with the island since 1989,

is launching a counteroffensive with the Jamaican Tourist Board.

The PR campaign will go hand-in-hand with a $5 million

advertising campaign called "Operation Grow."

Tourism is the most important industry for the Caribbean country. Last

year, 2.1 million visitors came to the island of sun and spent nearly

$1.3 billion.

PM&A has signed up prominent Jamaicans such as Harry Belafonte and

recording artist Shaggy to talk about Jamaica and its importance on

their lives and on world culture. Termed "Jamaican Originals," the

figures will be interviewed on radio and TV programs.

Porsche Simpson Miller, Jamaica's director of tourism, will hold a press

conference during the second week of August with such news outlets as

The New York Times, The Miami Herald, the UK's The Times, and The Wall

Street Journal.

Four TV segments on Jamaica will air during morning shows in major US

cities. Each will center on a different facet of island life. The

segments will air during August and September.

The campaign is also targeting the tourist trade. On July 20, the

president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association held interviews

with trade publications including Travel Weekly, Travel Agent, and

Travel Management Daily.

"It's vitally important to show children enjoying themselves in safety

and tranquility," said PM&A founder Peter Martin. "Just as visitors

wouldn't go into certain parts of LA or Chicago, it's the same with


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