President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, has expressed keen interest in learning about tourism development in Jamaica.
President Kikwete, who was speaking at a luncheon held at the Sandals Grande Resort in Ocho Rios St. Ann during his visit to the parish on Tuesday (November 24), said he was looking to benefit from the exchange of ideas to strengthen the tourism sector in his country.
“One of the things I am quite keen on learning about is the development of the tourist industry in Jamaica. We are trying to develop this sector. We have not been as successful as you have been. The development of the tourism infrastructure and the services itself to the tourist is one of the many areas of weaknesses that we are trying to strengthen,” he stated.
“This is going to be the beginning of several contacts with our people in the tourist industry so that we can learn from the experience and build,” he added.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), shows President of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, and his wife, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete the uniform of the Jamaican Bobsled team, during their tour of the tourist attraction – Mystic Mountain – in St. Ann, on November 24.
Meanwhile, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, welcomed the President and his wife, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete, to the parish and the resort town of Ocho Rios.
He said that Jamaica stood ready to develop partnership with Tanzania whereby both countries could exchange ideas and learn from each other in an effort to expand and develop the tourism industry in both countries.
Noting the importance of tourism to Jamaica, he said that it “represents the outstanding foreign exchange contributor. It employs over 80,000 people directly and well over 250,000 people benefit from the fruits of this industry.”
President of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete prepares to take a ride in a bobsled, while on a tour of the tourist attraction – Mystic Mountain – in St. Ann, on November 24. Others from third right are: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; the President’s wife, Her Excellency Salma Kikwete and Mrs. Norma Clarke, wife of the Chairman of Mystic Mountain, Mr. Horace Clarke.
He boasted that Jamaica, “which has lured so many millions over the years,” recently copped the World Travel Award for being the leading Caribbean destination.
While in St. Ann, Their Excellencies toured popular attractions such as Mystic Mountains, Dolphin Cove and Dunn’s River Falls.
The touring party included wife of Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, Mrs. Lorna Golding, and other tourism officials.