JIS News

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  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism corridor between St. Thomas and Portland has untapped potential, which could position it as a premier tourism destination.
  • Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Mr. Bartlett said his Ministry, as part of an all-island comprehensive development plan, will be taking strategic steps to facilitate the expansion of tourism in that “particular area” and in other parts of the country.
  • “We will continue to build out a framework of support that will include product development, training, infrastructural improvement and access to financing for rural communities,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism corridor between St. Thomas and Portland has untapped potential, which could position it as a premier tourism destination.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Mr. Bartlett said his Ministry, as part of an all-island comprehensive development plan, will be taking strategic steps to facilitate the expansion of tourism in that “particular area” and in other parts of the country.

“We will continue to build out a framework of support that will include product development, training, infrastructural improvement and access to financing for rural communities,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“That entire Manchioneal through Long Bay and Boston stretch could really be something special. We could have fishing villages, surfing, jerked cuisines and a whole lot of other stuff that could create employment and attract visitors from all over,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett noted that while the north coast remains the centrepiece of the island’s tourism offerings, other areas have started to emerge as major forces to be reckoned with and “must be given serious attention.”

“With more major projects set to come on stream, we are committed to adding depth and diversity to our tourism product while providing economic viability in communities beyond Jamaica’s traditional resort areas. This will lay the foundation for a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector that benefits all Jamaicans,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett noted that the tourism sector “will serve as the catalyst of Jamaica’s post COVID-19 economic recovery.”
“Tourism in rural areas will provide key opportunities for recovery, as these communities seek to bounce back from the harsh economic setback caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Tourism Minister said.

For his part, newly elected President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Clifton Reader said while COVID-19 has impacted a lot of businesses within the tourism sector, he is confident that the industry will “rise again”.
He also welcomed the health and safety protocols that have been implemented noting that he had “never seen the industry so united and we must keep it that way.”

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