Buoyed by the positive feedback emanating from the news that the latest in the James Bond iconic franchise will be filmed in Jamaica, local officials and stakeholders are calling it “a massive publicity boost for the island”.
“It’s not a stretch to say we get filmed all the time,” said Chief Strategist and Advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright.
He told JIS News that just last year international hitmaker, Beyonce, was “here at least five times” doing videos, while fellow artist, Cardi B, was a fixture at the Trident Castle in Port Antonio, Portland.
“We have had calibre movies filmed here, such as The Mighty Quinn, Cocktail, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Dr. No, Live and Let Die, and Papillon, just to name a few” he added.
For his part, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, whose Ministry had been working hard behind the scenes in conjunction with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), said “this latest development” can only further reaffirm Jamaica’s position as a favourite getaway spot for the “rich and famous”.
The Minister further noted that “the country’s allure and rich history,” notably in tourism, culture, sports and entertainment, “put it head and shoulders above its island competitors”.
“Not too long ago, we had Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, at Round Hill, Hanover, where they were here to attend a wedding,” Mr. Bartlett noted.
“Also not too long ago, Khloe Kardashian from the reality hit show, ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’, was here with her family on vacation. There have also been sightings of countless others, including the great Stevie Wonder,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett said he is very happy with how things are panning out in the industry, noting that Jamaica is now the envy of many other destinations.
“I have been saying, at every opportunity, that we do have an edge as it relates to making inroads in the high-end market,” he noted.
“There is no way we could have paid for the kind of publicity that we have been receiving from this new James Bond movie – a real shot in the arm for our tourism sector,” the Minister said.
Mr. Bartlett pointed out that there are a host of other celebrities who have been coming to Jamaica unannounced for their vacations, with Port Antonio, Hanover and Negril being the favourite destinations.
He said Jamaica is also benefiting from the celebrity-pull factor, where persons are flocking to destinations where they see “their favourite stars going”.
“What you find is that the tabloids and gossip seekers tend to follow these people wherever they go, writing about their whereabouts, so their fans can keep up with them. Jamaica has been the direct beneficiary of a lot of free and positive publicity as a result,” the Minister said.