Closed/Expired: Jamaica Tourism Innovation Challenge

Jamaica Tourism Innovation Challenge

To celebrate the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism and The George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies are launching the Jamaica Tourism Innovation Challenge.  The hosted challenge is designed to provide university students the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to help solve a real world challenge and to understand how sustainable tourism is being used by governments to support the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Challenge

Develop a marketing campaign strategy that targets and motivates university and/or high school students to visit Jamaica and experience the country’s stunning natural landscape, world-class beaches, rich culture and fri­­endly people through community-based, adventure, and educational tourism opportunities.

The Problem

Tourism is a key driver of Jamaica’s economy; currently, it is the single largest employer, accounting for 28% of total employment in 2016, and the highest generator of foreign exchange, accounting for almost 60% of Jamaica’s exports.[1] The potential for economic and social development stemming from tourism is high, particularly because Jamaicans are friendly people that are eager to share their traditions and way of life with visitors.

While Jamaica’s tourism growth rate for 2016 was 4.6% with direct earnings of JMD163 billion,[2] the Minister of Tourism, Honorable Edmund Bartlett recently laid out an ambitious and strategic plan to transform tourism to drive growth and prosperity in Jamaica. This plan revolves around the introduction of tourism networks to foster new linkages, partnerships, and innovations designed to make tourism more inclusive and support Jamaican small tourism enterprises.

Recognizing the opportunity to support tourism development in all parishes of Jamaica, the Government of Jamaica led by the Ministry of Tourism’s community tourism working group launched a new program in 2017 to support community based tourism development and marketing called Jamaica Community Experiences.

Participating small tourism enterprises received support from the Jamaican Social Investment Fund and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO) to develop their tourism products and meet minimum safety and quality standards.  These enterprises are ready to host travelers but they need more visitors.

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), one of the World’s leading tourism marketing organizations, attracts millions of visitors to Jamaica’s beautiful beaches and world class resorts each year through their award-winning marketing campaigns.  They are ready to help and support the marketing of these new enterprises but they are looking for innovative ideas to attract new markets of University and High School students that would appreciate the unique experiences these community-based and small tourism enterprises are able to provide to visitors.  The JTB recognizes that attracting these markets requires a different approach and strategy that will introduce students to the various opportunities beyond the resort areas and stimulate adventure, volunteer, and educational tourism in Jamaica.

[1] World Travel & Tourism Council, “Economic Impact 2017 Jamaica”

[2] World Travel & Tourism Council, “Economic Impact 2017 Jamaica”


The Challenge Breakthrough

Innovations will help identify new strategies to market Jamaica’s Community Experiences to university and/or high school students from North America and Europe.  These may include but are not limited to:

  • Use of social media
  • Contests and Sweepstakes
  • Working through university clubs, fraternities, and sororities to identify trip leaders to organize and recruit group travel
  • On campus events and guerilla style marketing tactics
  • Motivating high school teachers and university professors to organize study trips
  • Earned and paid media placements in targeted publications and online sites

Target Audience: University and/or high school students from the Caribbean, United States, Canda, or Europe.

Awards:- $5,000

Deadline:- 30-10-2017

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