Thursday, 09 March 2023 12:18

BritJammers want to own a piece of Jamaica

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They came to party, but ended up owning a piece of the rock, their parents and grandparents called home long before they were born.

BritJam patrons started coming to Jamaica for the annual party event 12 years ago, and today many of them have become land and housing investors.

“Trelawny is popular among the buyers, so is St. Ann, which is right now trending. Direct investment is St. James, they are looking at villas and residential homes, investing in Airbnb,” Khori Hyde, founder and brand director of Britjam said last week.

Hyde shared that the patrons fall in love with Jamaica and decide, “Here’s an investment, here’s an opportunity and they do the Math. Example: if a hotel room costs US$200 and that sleeps two, and they have a piece of property with a three bedroom. They’re thinking it sleeps six.”

He remembers being on an excursion in 2012 heading to Ocho Rios and a young lady was fascinated with the coastline and every little town along the coastline. She currently owns two properties - one in St Ann, one in Trelawny.

Today, they also partner with Victoria Mutual in finding solid investments for those who support the event.

The spring event, which kicks off on March 8 at Margaritaville and ends on Sunday, March 12, in the tourism capital, Montego Bay, now has the reputation of attracting many young UK professionals, including nurses, doctors, bankers, and people in the legal profession.

The event returns after a two-year hiatus, owing to the pandemic.

“It’s a repositioning year. So we’re not going overly elaborate, we have to take baby steps. We don’t want to rush it and give individuals the impression that we are coming to re-dominate that space, our research has shown us this,” Hyde said.

The focus he said will be on day events, where individuals can come together bringing a family element and connection, while networking. The night events will see Jamaica come alive at venues such as Tropical Bliss and Pier One for the ‘I love the 90s’ Stone Love party.

Montego Bay’s newest attraction, Sea Island, which hugs the world famous Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club is the BritJam hub, and will host the day events, while other highlights will include rafting on the Lethe River and brunch at Pineapple Beach.

According to him, they have returned with the brand to Montego Bay as they believe it is a beacon supporting the tourism product push. Jamaica’s attractiveness is what engenders the commitment of the UK travellers who will converge on the island this week, he said.

BrithJam is now in its 10th staging, and Hyde shared that his team “found it very hard convincing Jamaicans that this was ideal event for the island”. In fact, he was warned that the BritJam brand was going to be lost in all the other events along the corridors, although they had a captive audience willing to come to Jamaica.

“But we saw the void and knew that a spring festival could work in Montego Bay, and we selected March as the ideal month. Negril still had the spring break numbers from the USA colleges, but the UK was not on the radar,” he explained.

Hyde had a history and proven track record having started spring break in the UK, even though he was criticised as being mad. Proving his naysayers wrong, he got coaches leaving from various parts of London and meeting up in one county.

The last time the event was staged in Jamaica was March 2020, and there were close to 400 international patrons on the island. However, the night of their welcome party was the day Jamaica found its first COVID-19 positive case. “We were forced to pull the plug and postpone the event,” said Hyde.

He added, “We had to manage the disappointment ... we had to be more hands-on, having developed a personal relationship with every Jammer.’’

They also had a good refund policy so everyone got back their money.

Last modified on Thursday, 09 March 2023 13:04