Jamaica Focusing on Increasing Resort Attractions

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, who is on tourism business overseas.

Story Highlights

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has adequate time to increase the number of resort attractions available to meet the anticipated growth in visitor arrivals.
  • Currently, Jamaica is deemed to have some of the most appealing and visitor -friendly attractions in the Caribbean.
  • “If this were so, then it would simply mean there would be no craft traders, no souvenir shop owners, and certainly no-one who is not considered amongst the elites. As Minister Bartlett keeps reiterating, tourism is not an exclusive club and every effort will be made to ensure that the smaller players get their fair share of the tourism pie,” Mr. Belnavis adds.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has adequate time to increase the number of resort attractions available to meet the anticipated growth in visitor arrivals.

“I have been preaching religiously that we have to get ourselves ready to meet the inevitable demands, as it relates to our tourism offerings over the next five years,” Mr. Bartlett explains.

In this regard, the Minister emphasizes the need for increased investments to develop more diverse attractions, which he believes will be a winning proposition “by any stretch of the imagination”, while highlighting several engagements being undertaken to this end.

“J. Wray and Nephew Limited is spending some $1 billion to renovate its Appleton Rum Tour facility in St. Elizabeth which is a guaranteed winner. I have told them that based on everything I am seeing, by way of investments, they will have very little problem meeting or exceeding their annual projections,” Mr. Bartlett states.

He also welcomes the Port Authority of Jamaica’s (PAJ) infrastructural upgrade of the fisherman’s beach in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, noting that, on completion, the development will be a major tourist attraction.

“We need a lot more initiatives like these and there is still time (to undertake these). There is no doubt that the visitors will be coming. So it’s just a matter for us to put our shoulders to the wheel and get going,” Mr. Bartlett urges.

The Minister’s comments come against the background of emphases by local tourism interests of the need to increase the sector’s complement of resort attractions.

Currently, Jamaica is deemed to have some of the most appealing and visitor -friendly attractions in the Caribbean.

Locations such as Dunn’s River Falls, Mystic Mountain, Chukka Adventures and Dolphin Cove, are among the island’s most enchanting world class attractions, which have figured prominently as major pulls for tourists.

“These are tried and proven entities that have been delivering for us big time. It would be nice, however, if we get a lot more to complement them, thereby enabling us to meet the inevitable demands that will soon be here,” Mr. Bartlett says.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the National Cruise Council (NCC) and Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councillor Michael Belnavis, is encouraging ordinary Jamaicans to position themselves to take advantage of the anticipated boost in visitor arrivals over the coming years.

“Jamaica’s greatest asset is its people and this is something that we should never lose sight of. We are creative enough to come up with our own unique ideas where we too can be marketable,” he contends.

He also dispels the view that investing in the tourism sector is only for a “chosen few.”

“If this were so, then it would simply mean there would be no craft traders, no souvenir shop owners, and certainly no-one who is not considered amongst the elites. As Minister Bartlett keeps reiterating, tourism is not an exclusive club and every effort will be made to ensure that the smaller players get their fair share of the tourism pie,” Mr. Belnavis adds.

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