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Jamaica Capitalizes on ‘Stella’

October 8, 1998

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ Jamaica’s Tourist Board is plugging the movie ``How Stella Got Her Groove Back″ to lure the work-weary and, perhaps, lovelorn to its beaches.

Based on the Terry McMillan bestseller, the movie stars Angela Bassett as an overworked, 40-year-old stockbroker who has an affair with a man (Taye Diggs) half her age during a Jamaican vacation.

The government’s Tourist Board treated U.S. travel agents to screenings of the film, parts of which were shot in the coastal resorts of Montego Bay and Port Antonio. Officials also aired TV spots on U.S. stations promoting the movie and Jamaica as a lovers’ getaway.

Board officials couldn’t say whether bookings have risen since the movie’s release, but they noted the peak winter tourism season is still two months off.

Tourism is a $1 billion industry in Jamaica, and officials have been quick to seize promotional opportunities, including a recent series of TV ads featuring Jamaica’s World Cup ``Reggae Boyz″ soccer team.

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