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The Government is moving to properly place people at the centre of the tourism product and will be spending millions under phase two of the ‘Spruce up Jamaica’ campaign to develop human resources and talents within the industry, and instill a sense of pride in country.
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, speaking at the launch of the programme at the Old Hospital Site in Montego Bay on May 21, said that the campaign will be moving into communities to make sure that “you who have an idea and intellectual property and value, can be given a chance to convert that idea into a material benefit that can make you richer and make your community a wealthier place.”
According to the Tourism Minister, citizens should begin to look away from the hotels for job opportunities and look within themselves for ideas that could be converted into viable and profitable products for the industry.
He informed that some $100 million will be spent this year to spruce up craft markets across the island and “we will be moving also towards the establishment of artisan villages and you who have the skills, the resources and the ideas, can come into these villages and begin to carve out these ideas into material things to sell our visitors when they come.”
The Government, he said, is also seeking to change the mindset regarding service in the industry and bring a sense of pride to communities. “So, we are going to be in every corner of this country through all the institutions such as the schools, the community centres, the hotels, airports, colleges, hotels, craft markets and in every jerk pork joint, where someone has a value to offer. Every hair dresser, every single snow cone vendor, musician, song writer and singer; we want you all to know that you are a partner in the process, a distinctive feature of destination Jamaica. We are going to make you proud of yourself and proud to be Jamaican,” Minister Bartlett said.
“We will be looking forward to having social development activities in local communities. We are going to establish marching bands so that you can have pride in your areas. We are going to be making sure that sporting and cultural activities in the inner city areas get a boost as well, so that pride, love and respect will return to our respective communities,” he added.
“People must be given a sense of who they are and a recognition of self, to love self, to respect and understand self and then to show off self. That is what Spruce up two is all about,” he stressed.