Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica will be setting up a tourism incubator with several partners to foster new ideas in the market and to generate grants and loans.
Closing the 2021/2022 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on June 15, he said discussions with potential partners, such as the University of Technology (UTech), University of the West Indies, Mona; the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), will be held to “take decisive steps by 2023 to foster innovative ideas”.
“We will also be seeking partnerships for the provision of grants and loans to support the development and commercialisation of ideas generated from the incubator,” he said, adding that an Innovation-based Tourism Incubator (ITI), will accept ideas that meet criteria such as enhancement of the tourism sector through accommodations, restaurants, attractions or the tourism value chain.
“The idea must be an innovation, and may fall in the categories of new products, new services, new production methods, new forms of organisation and new markets,” the Minister told the House.
Mr. Bartlett said the ITI will operate virtually and execute its mandate for each entrepreneur over a two-year period.
“A panel will conduct a review of these submissions, and successful candidates will be invited to a boot camp, which will provide participants with the training and support needed to develop their business idea, business model and business plan, minimum viable products (MVPs), to boost the chances of arriving at an effective start-up,” the Minister said.
Stressing that the products and services will require targeted investments, he said the system will provide an opportunity to bring more Jamaicans into the tourism value chain as producers, and his Ministry will work with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, JAMPRO and the JBDC to develop a fulsome tourism investment strategy to generate greater investment in attractions, entertainment and niche accommodation.