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Home > DIgital Culture > A JAMAICAN BRAND ALREADY DISRUPTED?! Jamaica Tourist Board


I’m always trend watching and connecting the dots to make meaning of how technology is intersecting and changing Industries in Jamaica and the Caribbean especially and I wrote a Facebook and Linked in Post recently that said: “You know…there are some Jamaican businesses..brands who don’t know how much they’ve already been disrupted and their relevance points are dropping daily…in the Tourism sector…the Retail Sector…the Food Sector especially… but do they know? And can they evolve fast enough to remain so.

I was asked a question by someone in my Linkedin Network to expand on this.

Andrew McNeil of Story Design Studio asked  From your perspective being in the disruptive space, are they being disruptive due to innovation locally or globally and what does that say for the JA economy on a whole?”
So I gave this example below.

EXAMPLE #1: The Jamaica Tourist Board.


They are being disrupted by both global and local players. For example….Tourist Boards like JTB should have started questioning their relevance a few years ago. Why?

1. Who needs a JTB Endorsement for their property, attraction, tours anymore. When Influencers and travellers seek and trust each others opinions more about do, go, see, experiences because of blogs, Instagram feeds and Influencer videos ratings sites for do, go, see, experience activities? Or can their Brand currency still hold strong?

2. Who needs JTB endorsement or licensing again when you have AirBNB in Jamaica and still in its infancy, already has making over US$8m in a single year for participants and the Experiences side of things has not fully kicked in as yet.

3. Who Needs JTB when you can get so much data about current and emerging travel trends ( Cannabis tours and vacation, LGBTQ Travellers, Digital Nomads, Cowork/CoLive Groups for example) from elsewhere – that entrepreneurs are using to continue to expand and diversify Brand Jamaica? Networked Intelligence anyone?

4. Who needs JTB big budget TV Ads anymore to convince people to come Jamaica any more?

5. Who needs Tourist Boards in their current and pass form, when Tourism and Travel brands now interface with Influencer, Content Marketing Agencies for access and marketing campaigns directly?

The structures of approvals, marketing, customer referrals and buying travel experience shifted a few years ago. Has their strategy and budget reflected that?

Then I asked a combination of Travel Influencers their thoughts on Facebook. Sarah Greaves-GabbadonHeneka Watkis-PorterLady Di WandersCraig R Williams


My experience with the JTB years ago, trying to get an endorsement for my brand was not a great one to say the least. Thankfully, as I like to say, the playing field has been leveled and we have the internet to thank for that. Word of mouth sells; people are traveling now more than ever to get authentic experiences that their friends and families share via word of mouth and through social media. 

Time for the JTB to wheel and come again, pivot have a new vision.

Heneka Watkis-Porter – Jamaican Podcaster, Influencer, Host of The Entrepreneurial You


One Word for the #JTBTeam “#MarTech”, because we now live in a #networkedintelligence era. There is still hope for them if the leadership pivots from their existing structure, talent acquisition & retention strategy a towards integrating & focusing on #BrandRelevance & #BrandPresence – and how that looks in this era and beyond.”

Craig Williams, Brand Strategist

What are your thoughts?


  • “Approve”

  • So on point! It is funny to see the JTB try to take credit for the AirBnB success story in Jamaica.

    I do like my tourist board here, Visit Florida, but even they are being disrupted but I do think that they get the influencer movement and want to be facilitators more than final arbiters.

    The world truly is now flat and people seek authentic voices that seem unbiased or are transparent about bias/payments.

    Word of mouse runs the world of marketing and advertising now.