Diaspora a Powerful Market for Tourism – Bartlett

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, makes his presentation at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (July 26). Listening (from 2nd left) are: Chairperson of the Gastronomy Network and Linkages Council Member, Nicola Madden-Greig; Executive Director, Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer; and Edward Wray of the Rasta Indigenous Village.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Government is committed to harnessing the potential of the Diaspora in ensuring the sustainable growth of the industry.
  • “The Diaspora for us is a powerful market. They are a source of influence in the marketplace,” he added.
  • The Minister said the Diaspora can play a key role as the Government works to ensure that more of the money earned from tourism is retained in the country.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Government is committed to harnessing the potential of the Diaspora in ensuring the sustainable growth of the industry.

“The truth is that 11 to 15 per cent of tourism arrivals in Jamaica come from the Diaspora, so Diaspora tourism is vital to us and is critical. That means $250 million to $300 million annually is generated from Diaspora tourism for Jamaica,” he said.

“The Diaspora for us is a powerful market. They are a source of influence in the marketplace,” he added.

He was making his presentation at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (July 26).

The Minister said the Diaspora can play a key role as the Government works to ensure that more of the money earned from tourism is retained in the country.

“We need to build the capacity of our people to produce the things that are required for the tourism sector and the infrastructure required to enable them to provide these services and this is where we appeal to our Diaspora,” he noted.

He cited opportunities for investment by overseas Jamaicans in niche markets such as gastronomy, health and wellness, entertainment and sports, and shopping.

The global average retention rate for tourism earnings is 20 per cent, which means that 20 cents of every dollar earned stays in the receiving country.

Jamaica has a 30 per cent retention rate, and there are plans to move the figure to 40 per cent, bringing the country closer to world-leading India at 60 per cent.

“We have to look at how we reduce the leakage and the strategy is to build the linkage, hence the linkages network,” the Minister said.

 

JIS Social