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Story Highlights

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism sector needs “hands on deck” to ensure its continued growth and development.
  • The Minister told the staff that he will be placing focus on efforts to boost growth in the sector.
  • The Tourism Minister indicated that he will also be reviewing the operations of the various agencies under the Ministry.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the tourism sector needs “hands on deck” to ensure its continued growth and development.

He was addressing employees of the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) during a familiarisation tour of the agencies located at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Friday (March 11).

The Minister told the staff that he will be placing focus on efforts to boost growth in the sector.

“The capacity that tourism has is enormous, infinite and the truth is that tourism is the only industry over which Jamaica has both competitive and comparative advantages in the world market,” he said.

He argued that with a high rate of repeat visitors, Jamaica has a solid base on which to push for record arrivals every year.

“We have a repeat business in Jamaica that is enviable across the world. At 42 per cent, it means that every other person that you see on the beach or anywhere else has been to Jamaica at least once before…and that’s a great start for any destination. All you have to do is to go after another 50 per cent or so,” he pointed out.

He said that more should be done “to market and satisfy the passions of the people,” while highlighting the importance of product quality in ensuring that the visitor gets value for money in a clean and secure environment.

“Once we are going to develop what we call product, then we have to have product quality, we have to have product standards and we must also be dealing with the security of these products,” he said.

“People want to travel with the satisfaction, ease of mind and the surety that what is being sold to them has integrity, is reliable, and can in fact give the result of what they have paid for,” Minister Bartlett noted further.

The Tourism Minister indicated that he will also be reviewing the operations of the various agencies under the Ministry.

He said he will also be looking at the findings of a study on product improvement, with particular focus on emerging and under-developed tourism centres such as the town of Falmouth in Trelawny.