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Jamaica is well positioned within the global tourism marketplace, and has nothing to fear from Cuba being opened up as a major tourist destination, said Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett.
He was addressing local and international media personnel attending Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2009, at a press luncheon held yesterday (May 12) at the Half Moon Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James.
The Minister said that Cuba has the potential to become a significant player in global tourism and Jamaica stands to gain from partnership with the Caribbean island.
“In fact there are a lot of synergies that we can exploit, one of which is our proximity, and indeed, the other of which is our own ability to generate joint activities between the two countries,” he stated.
He said that within another few weeks, tourism officials in Cuba and Jamaica will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for joint destination marketing. He said both countries are also looking at the possibility of joint airlift arrangements.
“There are great values to this,” he stated. “There will also be exchanges in terms of technical support on the side of training and languages and so on. We think that this arrangement will augur well for the two destinations, and will give us an opportunity to not be competitors in the sense of being adversarial, but competitors in a true spirit of ensuring that each destination enjoys the benefit of its own value, and can use the value of one to enhance that of the other,” Minister Bartlett stated.
In attendance at the media luncheon were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith; Director General in that Ministry, Carrole Guntley; President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Wayne Cummings; and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Director, John Lynch.

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