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  • Jamaica will pay tribute to its tourism trailblazers at a special function at King’s House on December 15.
  • Speaking with JIS News at Club Caribbean’s 50th anniversary dinner in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, recently, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, informed that persons will be recognised for contributions of 50 years and more to the industry.
  • “We will be calling it the Golden Souls of Tourism. We will roll out the red carpet for these wonderful pioneers – persons like former Tourism Minister, Frank Pringle; and also Richard Salm, founder of Club Caribbean and a true stalwart in the industry,” he said.

Jamaica will pay tribute to its tourism trailblazers at a special function at King’s House on December 15.

Speaking with JIS News at Club Caribbean’s 50th anniversary dinner in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, recently, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, informed that persons will be recognised for contributions of 50 years and more to the industry.

“We will be calling it the Golden Souls of Tourism. We will roll out the red carpet for these wonderful pioneers – persons like former Tourism Minister, Frank Pringle; and also Richard Salm, founder of Club Caribbean and a true stalwart in the industry,” he said.

“It is good that we can acknowledge, while they are alive, the sacrifices these persons have made on behalf of our beautiful country,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett said the industry could never have reached “this stratospheric level” without the hard work of “our golden-agers”, persons who “put country above self” and who saw the vision of how far tourism could go.

He noted that 50 years ago, some 400,000 visitors came to the island and spent in the region of US$87,000 and in 2017, 4.3 million tourists came to Jamaica and spent approximately US$3 billion.

“Last year, 20 per cent of the tax and earnings for the country came directly from the tourism industry,” he pointed out.

“This is the one industry that continues to demonstrate a consistent level of profitability and dependability,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said there is every indication that 2018 will be another “special year for tourism” in Jamaica.

The Minister said his optimism stems from what he has been seeing in the marketplace and the kind of interest that Jamaica has been generating from tour operators across the globe.

“We have been going into markets that were once considered unapproachable. We have been venturing into Eastern Europe and Latin America, and we are starting to see the results. These are indeed the best of times for tourism,” he said.