Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the Government is working to deepen the linkages between tourism and other sectors in order for tourism to have greater impact on the country’s economic growth.
“For tourism to really have an impact on the economy and on the development of Jamaica, we have to do more. We have to ensure that we develop the linkages more – with agriculture and with manufacturing,” the Minister said, on July 4 Jamaica House press briefing.
He noted that in relation to strengthening agricultural linkages, the Ministry has had meetings with the Ministry of Agriculture, “which has done a plan, on which we are working together."
Dr. McNeill informed that analysis conducted by the Agriculture Ministry has revealed that the value of the agricultural produce consumed by the hotel sector can be doubled to 60 per cent if there is greater collaboration between tourism and the sector.
“This is something that we want to work on; how to deepen these linkages,” the Minister said.
In his Sectoral Debate presentation in the House on July 3, Dr. McNeill had informed that one of the methods that would be used to boost these linkages is to employ a data-driven approach.
He had lamented that for an industry as important as tourism, there is not sufficient data to inform policies and strategies to increase the linkages between tourism and the wider economy.
In this respect, he informed that the ‘Study of the Economic Impact of the Tourism Sector,” commissioned by former Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, that would provide this data, is to be evaluated and an action plan developed to advance the process.
“We will continue to facilitate dialogue (among) manufacturers, farmers and other sectors, and the hoteliers, so they can work together to capitalise on the many opportunities that exist,” the Minister said.