United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater, has underscored the economic benefits which Jamaica stands to gain from a sustainable tourism sector.
Addressing the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment’s 2011 Tourism Service Excellence Awards ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, in Rose Hall, Montego Bay, on Saturday (December 8), Ambassador Bridgewater, in highlighting several of the local sector’s unique features, stressed the need for continuous improvement on these offerings to ensure Jamaica maintains its visibility in a highly competitive industry.
Some inputs which she suggested, include: investments; and aggressive promotion utilizing traditional as well as social media channels, both locally and externally; and support solicited from foreign diplomats whom she said could serve as tourism promoters.
“Consider new resort models, (and) smaller boutique properties, that are affordable and attractive, and which augment the mainstay popular all inclusive (resort concept). Continue to have the wonderful activities, (such as) adventure tourism,(and) nature tourism. There are as many tourist interests as there are tourists. So…what constitutes a travel experience,…entails taking home life long memories,” she advised.
Ambassador Bridgewater also commended tourism sector stakeholders on their continuous efforts to make visitors to Jamaica feel welcomed, and enjoy memorable experiences, which she noted, often results in numerous return visits.
“Clearly Jamaica has an excellent and an outstanding tourism product; the beaches, the waters, (and) the culinary delights abound. But these accolades would not be possible without the individuals who work in the tourism sector,” she said.
General Manager of the Couples San Souci Hotel, in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Pierre Battaglia, and the Mystic Mountain Rain Forrest attraction, also situated in the parish, topped the 25 nominees vying for the individual and organization/entity awards in the 2011 Tourism Service Excellence Awards.