JTB Services

What You Need to Know

Working with you towards success

The Jamaica Tourist Board Groups and Conventions team is committed to helping you with all aspects of your meeting, convention or incentive program

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Meet the JTB

The Jamaica Tourist Board Groups and Conventions team is committed to helping you with all aspects of your meeting, convention or incentive program. As your partner, the JTB not only promises to make your event pleasurable and memorable, we will also provide a host of services designed to ensure every stage of the planning process and all aspects of the visit go well.

The island has accommodations to suit groups of all sizes. We will guide you through site inspections and airline selections, banqueting services and entertainment choices, business centres and ground transportation. If you like, we'll throw in a few suggestions for exciting tours and attractions.

We encourage you to submit a Request for Proposal (RFP). Your needs will be communicated to qualified industry suppliers to facilitate a competitive bidding process, helping you to receive the best product for the best price. We will even provide you with a range of promotional materials including destination information brochures, customised shells for overprinting, posters, point-of-purchase displays, CDs and DVDs - all designed to support your programme.

Contact

John Woolcock
Manager, Groups and Conventions
Jamaica Tourist Board
5201 Blue Lagoon Drive
Suite 670
Miami, Fl 33126
E-mail: groups@visitjamaica-usa.com

Margaret Clarke-Wheatley
Business Development Officer
Jamaica Tourist Board
5201 Blue Lagoon Drive
Suite 670
Miami, Fl 33126
E-mail: groups@visitjamaica-usa.com

VIP Airport Services
Tel: (876) 619 1565
Email: reservations@vipattractions.com   
Website: www.vipattractions.com 

Customs Duty Waivers

Should you wish to make your event that much more special by including material and equipment, such as gifts or trophies, brought from abroad, you will need to apply to the Ministry of Finance for a waiver of customs duties and bonds. The Jamaica Tourist Board Groups and Conventions Department will be happy to help you through this process. Your application must be received no fewer than 20 working days before date of shipment and travel. Almost all shipments will need the services of a customs broker.

You will need to:

  • Provide the name of the group, purpose of the visit, dates, number of people, ground operator, and group leader.
  • Supply complete shipping information, including airway bill and date of arrival in Jamaica.
  • Write a complete description of items to be shipped (including quantities), including approximate value and serial numbers. Where appropriate copies of invoices should be attached.

Application for Waiver of Duty Bond
Air Cargo/Freight valued at US$1000 - US$4,999.99 will require the completion of a C79 Form and may be cleared by your Ground Tour Operator. Shipments valued at over US$5000 will require the completion of a C78 or C25 Form as well as the services of a customs broker.

Contact
John Woolcock
Manager, Groups & Conventions
Jamaica Tourist Board
E-mail: groups@visitjamaica-usa.com

Margaret Clarke
Business Development Officer
Jamaica Tourist Board
E-mail: groups@visitjamaica-usa.com

Getting There

Airports in Jamaica
There are three international airports in Jamaica: Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica's capital city and the Ian Fleming International Airport in picturesque Ocho Rios.

  • Norman Manley International Airport
    Located in Kingston, this is the better option if you're visiting the capital city, Port Antonio or heading to the Blue Mountains. Ground transportation can be arranged to take you to the domestic airport in Kingston, Tinson Pen, where flights are available to other parts of the island. Car rental, taxis and tour operators are located in the Arrivals Ground Transportation Hall to help visitors get to their destination. For more information, visit http://www.nmia.aero/flash/
  • Sangster International Airport
    Located in Montego Bay, this is the primary point of entry for most tourists. It's the better port of entrance if you're headed to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios or Negril. In addition to international terminals, this airport has a domestic terminal with local flights that depart regularly to Kingston, Negril, Port Antonio and Ocho Rios. Taxis, hotel shuttles and car rental companies are available to assist visitors in getting to their final destinations. For more information, visit http://mbjairport.com/
  • Ian Fleming International Airport
    Jamaica's newest international airport,the Ian Fleming International Airport, is located in the Ocho Rios resort area. The new airport is a convenient entry point to Jamaica's north coast for small aircraft. Many of Jamaica's renown villas and resorts are only minutes away. Ground Ground Transportation is easily arranged. For more information visit http://www.ifia.aero

VIP Airport Service
Enjoy the warmth of Jamaica's hospitality with fast track and personalized VIP Meet & Greet service at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston (KIN) and the Sangster International (MBJ) in Montego Bay. VIP service includes complimentary Wi-Fi service, refreshments and free telephone calls to the USA, Canada and UK landlines. A suite of services is available to arriving and departing passengers. For more information visit http://www.vipattractions.com

What you need to know

Entry Requirements
U.S. Citizens travelling to and from Jamaica must present a valid passport when leaving and or re-entering the United States . Residents must present their Alien Resident Card (Green Card) together with passport of country for which they hold citizenship. All visitors are required to travel with a return ticket or onward ticket for entry into Jamaica. For more information, go to: http://www.congenjamaica-ny.org/visas/requirements-2/

Canadian Citizens: Valid passport or a government-issued identification with photograph, along with an official birth certificate. Canadian residents must present a Canadian Permanent Resident Card and a passport showing country of citizenship.

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Banks/Currency
Cambio centers and commercial banks are accessible in all resort areas. Official currency exchange rates vary daily, so it’s advisable to shop around for the best rate before converting your cash. Most Jamaican ATMs accept international bank cards with Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Plus logos. Banks also give credit card advances, change traveller’s cheques among other financial services.

Climate
Jamaica enjoys a tropical climate, characterized by high temperatures and humid conditions year-round. Average temperature ranges from 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit) to 32 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit). Though we’re known for our warmth and sunshine, the island sees two rainy seasons from May to June and September to November. Also, hurricanes may pass over the island primarily during the months June to September.

Will it rain during your holiday? If it does, don't worry. Most times, the short tropical showers provide a welcome break from the afternoon heat.

Clothing
Lightweight tropical clothing is best suited throughout the year. Shorts and swimwear are acceptable on beaches. A light sweater is suggested for evenings, especially in the winter months. Semi-casual wear for women and sports jacket for men are recommended.

Communications
Jamaica is well connected to the rest of the world. Direct international telephone service operates in all areas 24 hours a day, and telephone operators will gladly facilitate collect, third-party or credit card calls. International faxes, cables and telegrams can be sent from most hotels and post offices. E-mail and Internet access is available too, usually at hotels and parish libraries, but also at local Internet cafes. There are three daily national newspapers and five weekend newspapers, all available island-wide. Some hotels and gift shops receive the international editions of The New York Times, The Economist and the London Times.

Driving
The most important thing to remember when driving in Jamaica is that here, we drive on the left, although some flexibility is required to avoid collisions with pedestrians, cows, goats, chickens and other domestic animals. We have over 17,000 kilometres of road networks connecting all major towns and cities; the speed limit is 50 kmph (30 mph) in built-up areas, and 80 kmph (50 mph) on highways. All drivers are required to carry a valid license. Jamaica recognizes valid international driver’s licenses, but visitors from North America may use their country's license for up to three months per visit. Car rental is available in most major towns and cities, and usually, clients must be 25 years+ old to rent.

Drugs
In Jamaica, the use, sale and possession of drugs such as ganja (marijuana), cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin and any other controlled substance is illegal. Violators are subject to severe punishments – specifically arrest, fine and imprisonment.

Electricity
The electrical supply in Jamaica is 110 volts/50 cycles standard, and electrical appliances use plugs that are two-pronged and flat (such as those used in the United States and Canada). If your appliances do not use 110 volts or flat two-pronged plugs, bring the requisite adaptors and converters with you. Although adaptors and converters are available in Jamaica, they may not be easy to come by. Most laptop computers have built-in converters and can be used with an adaptor. If the idea of lugging all this equipment around seems daunting, leave it behind. Most hotels have hair dryers, alarm clocks, radios and clothes irons available, and in any case you probably won't need many appliances. You are, after all, on holiday.

Holidays

Officially, Jamaicans celebrate ten public holidays per year: New Year's Day (January 1), Labour Day (May 23), Emancipation Day (August 1), Independence Day (August 6), Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26), in addition to Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter Monday and Heroes Day (third Monday in October). On public holidays all government agencies, schools and most private businesses are closed, and much of the country "locks down" for the day. On holidays, Jamaicans throng to beaches and parks for picnics, relaxation and catch-ups, the celebrations continuing well into the night.

Check the calendar of events for exact holiday dates this year, and if you’re here for one of these or for a public holiday, be sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Language
The official language of Jamaica is English, although most of us converse using ‘Patois', a dialect as colorful and intriguing as our Jamaican personalities. It may take some time for you to become accustomed to it, but when you are, you'll have fun trying the local expressions.

Pets
Rabies is not a danger in Jamaica and we'd like to keep it that way. So although we would love to host your pets, we must ensure that they're completely healthy before they can be brought on the island. In keeping with international standards, the importation of all live animals into Jamaica requires an import permit from the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture prior to arrival in Jamaica. All animals must be rabies-free, and must never have been rabies vaccinated. Dogs and cats (with permits) are allowed into Jamaica only from Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Eire. For more information, contact the Veterinary Services Division: tel. 876-977-2489 or 876-977-2492. To secure a permit, fax a letter of request to 876-977-0885.

Tax Treaty
U.S. PUBLIC LAW 96-608 / AND JAMAICA’S EXEMPTION: On August 12, 1981, the Treasury Department of the United States announced the signing of a Protocol to the proposed Income Tax Treaty with Jamaica. The Protocol was assigned in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 17, 1981, by Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga and United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Loren Lawrence. The Protocol falls under Article 25, a new paragraph 7, as follows:

“7. Expenses incurred by a citizen or resident of the United States in connection with attendance at a convention, seminar or similar meeting held in Jamaica shall be deductible for the purpose of taxation in the United States to the same extent as if the convention, seminar or similar meeting were held in the United States. This paragraph applies only to ordinary and necessary business expenses for:
a) lodging, meals and the personal sustenance and comfort of the traveler while at the convention;
b) registration at the convention and books and other similar materials necessary for attendance at the conventions; and
c) ground and air transportation to and from the convention site, but not in excess of the amount deductible under the laws of the United States with respect to transportation expenses incurred in connection with travel outside the United States.”

On December 16, 1981, the above was passed on the floor of the U.S. Senate by voice vote.

Time Zone
Jamaica falls within the Eastern Time Zone (UTC/GMT -5 Hours) and does NOT observe Daylight Savings Time. At times in Jamaica, however, it seems as if we don't observe any time at all, so for the least amount of stress on your vacation, you may want to think about leaving your watch behind! At approximately 18 degrees north of the equator, the island falls within the tropics, and as such does not experience drastic seasonal changes in sunrise and sunset times. Year-round, the island averages between 11.5 and 12.5 hours of sunlight per day – always enough time to do everything, or never enough for anything!

Water
"Xamayca" is the name that the first Jamaicans, the Tainos, gave to this country. It means "Land of Wood and Water", and for good reason; Jamaica has hundreds of spring and rivers, both above and underground. Over the years, we have developed extensive water treatment and supply systems island wide, so all drinking water in Jamaica is purified and filtered by modern methods. Our water is safe for you to drink, clean your teeth, bathe and wash clothing in. If you choose not to drink the water, rest assured; there are many brands of Jamaican spring water that meet or exceed the highest international standards, available at most shops and restaurants.

  • Meet the JTB
  • Customs Duty Waivers
  • Getting There
  • What you need to Know