Tourism Minister Pleased with Spotlight on Entertainment

Photo: Garwin Davis Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addresses tourism stakeholders at a meeting at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort, recently.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is pleased that entertainment is being taken seriously by hoteliers and other tourism entities, citing it as an important value-added component of the industry.
  • “What is being offered to the guests today by way of entertainment is a far cry from what we used to see in the past. It is very refreshing to see the level of creativity and the quality shows our visitors now have at their disposal. What I am seeing today is a better appreciation for the value of entertainment,” the Minister told JIS News.
  • Mr. Bartlett singled out the all-female cabaret group Pakage, describing the trio of Gem Myers, Karen Smith and Patricia Edwards as important trailblazers who have taken the entertainment industry to stratospheric heights.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is pleased that entertainment is being taken seriously by hoteliers and other tourism entities, citing it as an important value-added component of the industry.

According to Mr. Bartlett, it is clear that a lot more thought is being given to ways to enhance the experience of the guest, with entertainment high on the list of offerings.

“What is being offered to the guests today by way of entertainment is a far cry from what we used to see in the past. It is very refreshing to see the level of creativity and the quality shows our visitors now have at their disposal. What I am seeing today is a better appreciation for the value of entertainment,” the Minister told JIS News.

He noted that in his many conversations with hotel general managers and restaurateurs, it is clear that there is a direct link between quality entertainment and guest satisfaction.

“Their own market research is telling them about the value of having a good entertainment package as part of their product offering. If the guest cannot get it at their location, he or she will go somewhere else to find it,” the Minister said.

He said Jamaica, more than anything else, is known for its music and culture and should, at every opportunity, use that as “a key marketing tool”.

“Many tourists come to this country specifically for the entertainment. That is an undisputed fact that I am happy many of our stakeholders have started to recognise. We have some of the best cabaret performers plying their trade in the hotels night after night, entertaining our guests and being ambassadors for this great nation,” the Minister said.

Mr. Bartlett singled out the all-female cabaret group Pakage, describing the trio of Gem Myers, Karen Smith and Patricia Edwards as important trailblazers who have taken the entertainment industry to stratospheric heights.

“I have known Karen, Patricia and Gem for many years, and I can’t say enough about them and the ambassadorial work they have been doing inside the hotels for well over 30 years,” the Minister pointed out.

He also noted that there are several other up-and-coming acts that have been making a name for themselves on the cabaret circuit.

“What we are also seeing is that there are a few of our established reggae acts who have also been going the cabaret route,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Meanwhile, the Minister informed that a number of streetside cafés will be built in the resort towns, with a major focus on entertainment.

“Just like what we see in Miami Beach, Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or in Key West or Amsterdam, we are going to have these cafés, with round-the-clock reggae bands, where the guests can come out and interact,” he said

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