Spruce Up Jamaica to be Relaunched

Photo: Contributed Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), converses with Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook (left) ahead of the church service on Sunday (December 11) at the Montego Bay New Testament Church to mark the start of the 2016/17 winter tourist season. At centre is the Minister’s wife Carmen Bartlett.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Ministry will be relaunching the ‘Spruce Up Jamaica’ programme in January 2017.
  • “We want to ensure our resort areas will lead by example in sustaining a clean and healthy environment for both our locals and visitors,” Mr. Bartlett told JIS News in a recent interview.
  • Minister Bartlett noted that tourism is a major part of the Government’s growth strategy, with earnings of US$2.5 billion last year, while providing tens of thousands of jobs and fueling numerous other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and entertainment.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Ministry will be relaunching the ‘Spruce Up Jamaica’ programme in January 2017.

He said the beautification programme, which initially started in 2007, will ensure that resort towns are maintained in pristine condition.

“We want to ensure our resort areas will lead by example in sustaining a clean and healthy environment for both our locals and visitors,” Mr. Bartlett told JIS News in a recent interview.

Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett said that with projections for a strong winter tourist season, increased emphasis will be placed on ensuring that the sector positively impacts the lives of ordinary Jamaicans.

“We are firmly on track and are, therefore, calling on all of our partners and stakeholders to assist in our quest to transform the lives of so many of our fellow citizens through a rejuvenated and inclusive tourism sector,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett said it is important that the message of inclusiveness is fully understood, saying he is committed to broaden the reach of the industry to positively impact the lives of “all Jamaicans”.

“That is why we have created the Tourism Linkages Network,” he pointed out. “It is important to note that we don’t create these bodies for the sake of creating something. We create these linkages because we want to ensure that more Jamaicans have the opportunity to be part of the sector and reap the many benefits,” he added.

He cited initiatives such as the National Beach Development Programme, which will provide “full access to some of our island’s best beaches” for all Jamaicans and visitors, including persons who are physically challenged.

Minister Bartlett noted that tourism is a major part of the Government’s growth strategy, with earnings of US$2.5 billion last year, while providing tens of thousands of jobs and fueling numerous other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and entertainment.

“A lot of times, persons are benefiting from the sector indirectly without even realising,” he said.

“The ground transport operator has a vehicle problem, so he goes to the mechanic to fix it. The mechanic earns because the ground transportation operator is able to pay him from the money he makes from carrying the visitor around.

“The same thing with the little man with his cookshop around the corner, the shopkeeper, the milkman… and I could go on and on. There is a trickle-down benefit from tourism that affects the lives of all of us,” he pointed out.

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