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Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has signed contracts with two international agencies for the development of marketing and communication strategies for eight community-based tourism projects, under the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).
  • The companies, Green Team Global and Solimar International, will be touring the eight Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTEs) across the island for two weeks, to acquire material for the development of promotional media for varying audiences. A web-portal for the CBTEs will also be developed.
  • Community-based tourism has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry globally.

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) has signed contracts with two international agencies for the development of marketing and communication strategies for eight community-based tourism projects, under the  Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

The companies, Green Team Global and Solimar International, will be touring the eight Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTEs) across the island for two weeks, to acquire material for the development of promotional media for varying audiences. A web-portal for the CBTEs will also be developed.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Kingston, today (August 18), General Manager for Project Management at the JSIF, Ms. Loy Malcolm, said JSIF has invested over $150 million in the development of these enterprises.

“We want to develop and advance the local Jamaican experience; whether heritage, culinary or eco-tourism; all those localized community-based tourism projects that we as Jamaicans enjoy and that visitors to the island enjoy. We are packaging them, branding them and marketing them, so that we can say to the world, here are a set of diversified product offerings that Jamaica has to offer to a tourist,” she said.

Ms. Malcolm noted that  the development of the Community-Based Tourism Policy and Strategy by the Jamaican Government, funded by REDI, in March 2015, forms the framework for the work being done with these enterprises.

 

“Through REDI, we have supported that policy and also through REDI, we are supporting not only capital investment to the communities to either equip or construct a site, but importantly to give them the business development support they require and the marketing and branding support,” she said.

The JSIF also signed a $22.7 million contract with the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT), one of the eight CBTEs, for the development of cabins along trails in the Blue and Johncrow Mountains.

The Rastafari Indigenous Village in Porto Bello, St. James, which was recently licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board, is another of the enterprises being supported under the project.

Others are the Cockpit Country Adventure Tours, operated by the Southern Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA); the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (CCAM) Foundation in Lionel Town, Clarendon; the Charles Town Maroon Council and Ambassabeth, Bowden Pen Farmers Association in Portland; the Treasure Beach Women’s Group and Breds, the Treasure Beach Foundation in St. Elizabeth.

In his address, JSIF Managing Director, Mr. Omar Sweeney, said the agency has, for the past 18 years, been supporting underserved communities through infrastructure development. However, he said communities are still in need of economic help, through the creation of job and business opportunities.

“We find that the REDI project came along at a good time, where we were able to, through partnerships with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Tourism, create these types of opportunities,” he said.

 

Community-based tourism has become one of the fastest growing sectors in the industry globally.

REDI, which was initiated in 2010, aims to reduce rural poverty by increasing the earning potential of rural communities, through the improvement of market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers and tourism projects.