JIS News

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has said that tourism in Kingston could be boosted, with the city revolutionized into a home port for cruise ships.
In his speech read by Director General, Carole Guntley, at the launch of Kingston Restaurant Week at Mac’s Chop House in New Kingston on Thursday (Oct. 4), the Minister said he envisaged Kingston as “a vibrant stop for cruise liners.”
“As we currently know it, cruise visitors pass through Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, but I want to see Kingston get to a point where we offer a one-of-a-kind experience from an exciting home port city for cruise travelers, who are looking for efficient and world-class services before and after their cruise,” he stated.
According to the Tourism Minister, “home porting is not a novel idea. It simply is a minor addition to something we have known over the years,” adding that “it means we can lure cruise shippers into Kingston city and get them to stay overnight.”
Additionally, he reasoned that home porting for Kingston means, “more heads in beds, which means not only dinner at a local restaurant for that evening for which the visitor overnights, but breakfast the following morning as well.”
He noted that the enhancement of Kingston’s tourism will also mean a boost for other sectors such as agriculture, and ultimately improve the country’s economy.
“So with Kingston as a home port, the current 28 per cent increase in papaya production could quadruple with the demand for more fruit salads, and the current 146 per cent increase in plantain production could increase dramatically as more overnighters demand breakfast,” he reasoned.
The Minister pointed out that the whole idea of home porting means the creation of “jobs and earnings that are deliverable through our value-added, not just by the traffic of bodies through our cities, but tourists, who are experiencing Jamaica in every good way possible.”
Jobs, he continued “ultimately means a better quality of life and a catalyst for the reduction in crime. which is itself a further fillip to prosperity.”
“It is more than high time that Kingston’s cultural bravado and vibrant nightlife be converted to sustained hard currency inflows from visitors coming from near and far. (It’s) time for Kingston to come in from the cold,” he stressed.
He urged Kingstonians to be a part of the move to make Kingston “a truly first-class city in terms of tourism.”

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