JIS News

A tourism incubator is to be established to nurture new and start-up enterprises within the sector.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, held at the agency’s head office in Kingston.

Mr. Bartlett said the Ministry will initiate discussions with potential partners, such as the University of Technology Jamaica (UTech); the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO).

“By 2023, we want to foster innovative plans to build out a whole arena that facilitates innovative ideas on how we can differentiate our sector from our competition,” the Minister said.

He added that the Ministry will be seeking partnerships for the provision of grants and loans to support the development and commercialisation of ideas generated from the incubator.

“We are already in discussion and, in fact, have provided one billion dollars to EXIM Bank to enable small and medium enterprises to come on. But, we want to create a special window for new ideas and to enable grants and loans to be provided for the stimulation of innovation through ideas, where the young people have no collateral,” Mr. Bartlett said, noting that the collateral would be their ideas.

He indicated that the intention is to incentivise the whole process of idea creation and conversion into material goods that are useful, vital and authentic and will make a difference for Jamaica.

According to the Minister, tourism incubation and funding is “an important new dimension in our quest to have more start-ups, to incentivise knowledge and ideas and to bring a greater level of innovation in the industry”.

Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has been restructured with the establishment of a special division to deal with innovation and business management.

“It is out of this that we are going to have the key management area for this tourism incubator to be established,” said Minister Bartlett.

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