JIS News

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica’s tourism industry will require an infusion of creativity and innovativeness by all stakeholders, to withstand any likely fallouts resulting from the financial crisis currently affecting the United States of America (USA).
He contends that while it may prove challenging to sustain and increase the number of visitors to the island, in light of prevailing global developments, the undertaking is not a daunting one. Mr. Bartlett added that the effort will also require a type of strategic marketing approach, never before pursued.
The Minister was speaking at a press conference, hosted by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James on Friday (Oct. 10), to announce the unveiling of five signboards under the organisation’s “Jamaica Heritage Trail” project.
Describing the tourism industry as possessing, arguably, a greater ability to recover quickly from external shocks, than any other sector, Mr. Bartlett noted that while previous shocks occurring globally, had not significantly curtailed activities in the travel industry, current projections are pointing to significant reductions over the next few months. He is, however, optimistic that the country can weather the storm.
“The potential for Jamaica, as a destination, to ride through that difficulty is stronger than that of many other territories around us. We have new, fresh products, and, indeed, the Spanish investments have provided a significant portion of the new fresh products that Jamaica has. Our indigenous partners have refurbished, renewed and, indeed, refreshed their own products as well, and have raised the bar in terms of the quality of the offerings that we have,” Mr. Bartlett said.
The Tourism Minister said that there are several new attractions which will be coming on stream across Jamaica, catering to different niche markets, and noted that the availability of airline seats to the island is one of the provisions that will complement the tourism product.
“This year, for this winter season, we will be having an additional 17,000 seats out of the United States,… a total of some 730,000 seats, which is above the 712,000 we had last year. Those are important attributes to take to a market, even in a difficult time, because we have capacity for airlifts, we have proximity to the market, one and a half hours away from the richest market in the world, with all its problems,” he pointed out.
Mr. Bartlett emphasised that with fresh, new products, price competitiveness, exchange rate differential, and the finest people in the world, Jamaica has strong points, which give it a competitive advantage.
The signboards, which have been erected at strategic points throughout the resort city, display significant details highlighting Montego Bay’s and St. James’ rich history. The project was undertaken in collaboration with the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo).