Delegation to Lobby for Kingston to be Designated a Creative City

Story Highlights

  • Senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment will be leaving for Hamamatsu, Japan, tomorrow (December 1), to lobby for the city of Kingston to be designated a Creative City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • The trip was announced by State Minister with responsibility for Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, at a press conference, held at the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), in Kingston, today (November 30).
  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with, and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment will be leaving for Hamamatsu, Japan, tomorrow (December 1), to lobby for the city of Kingston to be designated a Creative City by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

These discussions are being facilitated through the UNESCO World Creative City Forum being hosted from December 1 to 8.

The trip was announced by State Minister with responsibility for Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, at a press conference, held at the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), in Kingston, today (November 30).

Mr. Crawford said the push to have Kingston be designated a Creative City is part of efforts to reduce the geographical seasonality of tourism in Jamaica, by rebranding the city as a place for visitors to travel for entertainment.

“We are rebranding Kingston to say that Jamaica is now not just the North Coast, but Jamaica in total is open for business. The designation as a Creative City also leads to exposure, and consciousness leads to consumption,” he said.

The State Minister added that this designation would also result in the provision of grant funding for selected projects to develop the creative sector in Kingston.

“The importance of that should not (be understated). Places like Trench Town (for example) could now be better recognised and be better marketed,” he said.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with, and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The Network is currently formed by 69 members from 32 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.

“What we want to do with this designation as a Creative City is to open the eyes of (not just) the local public but also of the international public that Kingston is here for visitation, for investment, is here for cruise ships and all these activities, and create a renewed energy throughout Kingston for entertainment and entertainment services,” Mr. Crawford said.

For her part, Senior Director in the Entertainment Division of the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Gillian Wilkinson McDaniel, who will be heading the discussions in Japan, expressed confidence that Kingston will be ascribed the prestigious designation.

“We have a very long and very stored history in terms of entertainment and so we are hopeful and we are confident, quite frankly, because we made a very strong application and we are looking forward to being designated,” she said.

She noted that the team will be highlighting Jamaica’s contribution of over six genres of music to the industry. She added that next year, being the 50th anniversary of Rocksteady and of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie’s visit to the country, this will also form part of the discussions.

Meanwhile, the State Minister hailed the success of the Ministry’s Kingston for February initiative which, he said, provided a wonderful segue into the step to have Kingston as a Creative City.

Kingston for February engages the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) and other associations in having the city promoted through music and entertainment as a tourist attraction during the winter months.

Mr. Crawford said the initiative has been well received thus far and is being expanded as a marketing tool for the Ministry and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).

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