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    The Government has announced that three Artisan Villages are to be established in Montego Bay, St. James Ocho Rios, St. Ann and Port Antonio, Portland.
    The Artisan Village is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism to provide authentic Jamaican art and craft producers and vendors with a direct link with tourists.
    Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House last week, Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunications Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the village will develop and promote the craft sector and showcase other aspects of Jamaica’s heritage.
    The implementation will be pursued using a five-step action plan which began in September 2008, and is scheduled to end in September 2010.
    The Ministry of Tourism will work with partners to provide the required expertise in order to increase support for, and improve the understanding of the value of tourism in Jamaica. The partners include: Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo); HEART Trust/NTA; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC); Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts; and the Urban Development Corporation (UDC).
    Mr. Vaz also announced that the Ministry of Tourism, through TPDCo, has partnered with the University of Technology (UTech), to implement a hospitality school in Montego Bay, which will address improvements in the level of training and certification of the Jamaican work force and provide supervisory/middle management training for staff in the tourism sector.

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