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Story Highlights

  • Head of the Tourism Linkages Hub, Carolyn McDonald-Riley, says the initiative has been bearing fruit with positive impact on key sectors affiliated with the tourism industry.
  • Highlighting its success at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on March 13, Mrs. McDonald-Riley noted that a major activity that has come out of the Linkages Hub is the staging of the monthly ‘Agro-Tourism Farmers Market’ in the resort area of Negril.
  • The Tourism Linkages Hub initiative is guided by a 19-member Council with representatives from key sectors within the Jamaican economy.

Head of the Tourism Linkages Hub, Carolyn McDonald-Riley, says the initiative has been bearing fruit with positive impact on key sectors affiliated with the tourism industry.

The mission of this linkage project is to position the tourism sector to increase its demand for, and consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced in Jamaica, while strengthening the linkages between the industry and other sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture and the creative industries.

Highlighting its success at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on March 13, Mrs. McDonald-Riley noted that a major activity that has come out of the Linkages Hub is the staging of the monthly ‘Agro-Tourism Farmers Market’ in the resort area of Negril.

She said this activity not only forges a significant linkage between the tourism and agricultural  sector, but also supports the idea of buying and eating local (Jamaican).

“This is about putting approximately 33 farmers in one place, month after month, and we are told that these are not regular farmers that would have been in the municipal market, and generating earnings from $6 million to $14 million per market…This is an awesome venture,” Mrs. McDonald-Riley  added.

She pointed out that staging the event in a major resort exposes tourists to Jamaican fruits and foods, and that plans are afoot to replicate this market in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

The local manufacturing industry also holds great potential for the strengthening of linkages, as it comprises sub-sectors such as food and agro-processing, textiles and wearing apparel, furniture and wood products which are linked to the delivery and supply of a diverse tourism product.

“Manufacturers have received contracts with the tourism sector as a result of us exposing them…the bedding and fibre glass industries have gotten contracts as a result of attending conferences and networking at events that the Hub has coordinated,” she further highlighted.

In terms of the creative industries, the Linkages Hub has created various avenues for the products of craft designers to be showcased.

“We have invited the hoteliers at various activities, such as Arts in the Park, to come and view the craft, as the idea is to get some of these items into their gift shops,” Mrs. McDonald-Riley pointed out.

She added that a major initiative that the Hub will be undertaking is a demand study, “where we will be going to all tourism entities and all our suppliers to look at some of the things that the sector demands and see how we can further identify more potential linkages.”

The Tourism Linkages Hub initiative is guided by a 19-member Council with representatives from key sectors within the Jamaican economy. The Council is tasked with deepening the linkages between tourism and the rest of the economy and to stimulate further growth in those areas.