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The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment is seeking to have Kingston designated a ‘Creative City’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Damion Crawford, made the announcement on Tuesday, July 2, during his contribution to the 2013/2014 Sectoral debate in the House of Representatives.

He said the Ministry is examining the criteria for application to UNESCO to achieve the designation.

“Indeed, I find the concept of Kingston being designated a ‘Creative City’, in which cultural activities are integral to the city’s economic and social functioning, to be both fascinating and eminently achievable,” Mr. Crawford said.

“UNESCO designated ‘Creative Cities’ point to their people as the critical resource. In addition, we can also boast a spectacular natural setting, perfect location and market access. It is well recognised that positioning Kingston to maximize its cultural appeal will have the advantage, not just of wealth creation but an easing of social tensions in inner city communities, and a strengthening of efforts to redevelop neglected areas,” he stated.

Mr. Crawford noted that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has long sought to market Kingston as the “cultural capital” based on a tradition of world-class musical output; the universal appeal of Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and many others, as well as the relative concentration of night life, museums, attractions, galleries and theatres.

The JTB currently endorses and supports some 15 events throughout the island with the majority being activities in Kingston. In addition, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) supports the Dennis Brown Concert and Trench Town Festival as part of the Downtown Kingston Restoration effort.

Contact: Latonya Linton

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