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Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the country will be going all out to pursue further tourism growth in non-traditional markets, such as China and Eastern Europe.
  • “We are currently in discussions with China with the aim of having a meaningful presence. This will help us tap into that market in a far more aggressive way than we have ever done before,” he said.
  • “The Government will be doing its part to ensure that the infrastructure, policies and legislation required to facilitate growth in the tourism sector are in place,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the country will be going all out to pursue further tourism growth in non-traditional markets, such as China and Eastern Europe.

Speaking to JIS News following the recently concluded Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) tourism trade show at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James, Mr. Bartlett said that while the sector has been performing creditably, he is confident that there are more frontiers to be conquered.

“We have done a good job over the years, but there is a lot more to be done. If we are to attain double digit growth we have to aggressively target newer markets,” the Minister said. He also cited the South American market as a “frontier  to be conquered.”

Mr. Bartlett said that with business relationships with China currently at an all time high, the time is ripe to make a play for that market in a more meaningful way.

“We are currently in discussions with China with the aim of having a meaningful presence. This will help us tap into that market in a far more aggressive way than we have ever done before,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the Ministry will be seeking to increase the country’s market share of visitors out of North America,  to move the current figure from 1.7 million to in excess of 2 million.

“We must take the tourist industry to a whole new level. It requires a strong strategy with bold but achievable goals to grow a vibrant sector, which contributes to sustainable economic growth,” he said.

The Minister added that to accomplish that growth, it is imperative that all aspects of the tourism product are right and that the country can deliver on the promises made in the marketplace.

“The Government will be doing its part to ensure that the infrastructure, policies and legislation required to facilitate growth in the tourism sector are in place,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“In addition, we are committed to developing a competitive and productive workforce that can benefit from opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry. In this regard, the Ministry will pursue the development of a Craft Institute and a Hospitality College,” he noted.