JIS News

Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo.), Michael Muirhead has encouraged more Jamaicans engaged in tourism to benchmark to international standards so as to effectively meet the demands of the global market.
Speaking with JIS News while on a recent tour of the South Coast, Mr. Muirhead noted that one way to ensure the product was of international standard was to utilise the many programmes offered through his organisation.
“In my view Jamaica’s tourism product has so much potential that if properly exploited could put us leaps and bound ahead of our other competitors in the Caribbean, it is refreshing to see the room for growth that also exists in the attraction sectors, especially along areas such as the unspoilt South Coast,” he said.
Mr. Muirhead pointed out that there was a distinction in the role and function of the TPDCo. and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
“JTB is the marketing arm that seeks to bring the visitor from abroad to Jamaica but from the visitor comes to Jamaica TPDCo is in many ways responsible for that visitor.we are responsible to ensure that certain standards are kept from the moment the visitor enters the taxi from the airport through to the accommodation sector in the form of hotels or guest houses, right on to the attractions which may be encountered, the ultimate aim is for our visitors to have a positive experience,” he said.
The Executive Director further explained that TPDCo’s role was not so much that of “policing” as that of acting as a “facilitator” for the industry.
“We work to make sure that the product is one that we can all be proud of and one that is truly world class,” he stressed.
Mr. Muirhead said that it was time for Jamaicans to wake up and realise the fragility of the tourism sector.
“Therefore what we have to do is protect it as an asset and in this context it is extremely important that we convey to our market in both North America and Europe that we are up to par and that this is the preferred destination of choice. we have to be vigilant in order to compete effectively with all other destinations,” he declared.

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