JIS News

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  • Newly appointed Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is encouraged by feedback which he received from sector stakeholders...
  • Mr. Bartlett further told JIS News that he will also be meeting with other stakeholders, including small hoteliers and interests representing sports, health, entertainment, and heritage tourism.
  • The Minister further stated that in the push to establish markets, South America and the Caribbean will receive special focus, with a view to facilitating multi-destination vacations.

Newly appointed Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is encouraged by feedback which he received from sector stakeholders with whom he met at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on Friday, March 11, as part of his schedule of familiarization activities.

Speaking with JIS News following meetings with representatives of the Association of Jamaica Attractions Limited (AJAL), craft traders, and ground transportation operators, Mr. Bartlett said the discussions were “very positive, open and frank”, and would greatly assist him in charting the way forward for the sector.

“I was very delighted that (stakeholders in) the (sub) sectors are really ‘revved up’ and rearing to. They like…and understand the vision (which was outlined). They are excited by (and about) the prospects of growing the tourism industry…and…about having greater local entrepreneurship infused on the supply side, in particular,” he stated.

Mr. Bartlett further told JIS News that he will also be meeting with other stakeholders, including small hoteliers and interests representing sports, health, entertainment, and heritage tourism.

He advised that these meetings are expected to be concluded by the end of March, following which the Ministry and its agencies will focus on ramping up Jamaica’s overseas advertising and promotions campaign, targeting traditional and emerging markets.

“In April…, great effort will be made to drive our new markets and to structure new partnerships. We have to look at the existing markets that we have in the United States, Canada and Europe, and we have to drive those to higher levels. The outputs of these markets have to be significantly more, simply because they have the capacity to deliver more for us,” he explained.

The Minister further stated that in the push to establish markets, South America and the Caribbean will receive special focus, with a view to facilitating multi-destination vacations.

“We have to look at synergies that can be forged within the region (involving) Jamaica (and other countries such as) Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, (and) the Cayman Islands,” he pointed out

Mr. Bartlett noted that these areas are “within the northern Caribbean space”, and  have the capacity to facilitate multi-destination arrangements.

These, he pointed out, “could bring airlines into the region, (transporting) multiple (numbers) of visitors to one location”, and expressed optimism about the prospects and benefits to be derived from this undertaking.