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  • As the Government works to strengthen linkages between tourism and other industries, the Tourism and Entertainment Ministry is to launch a ‘Christmas in July’ initiative aimed at connecting local producers with buyers.
  • Making the disclosure during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Repesentatives on Tuesday, April 14, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said the programme will bring together local gift item producers and prospective buyers.
  • The Minister said an open call has already been issued for participants in the programme.

As the Government works to strengthen linkages between tourism and other industries, the Tourism and Entertainment Ministry is to launch a ‘Christmas in July’ initiative aimed at connecting local producers with buyers.

Making the disclosure during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 14, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said the programme will bring together local gift item producers and prospective buyers.

“The programme will bring together manufacturers and producers of local gift items with potential  buyers from the corporate world and the tourism sector so  that  more corporate Christmas gifts can, in the  future, be acquired from local producers,” he said.

The Minister said an open call has already been issued for participants in the programme.

This programme follows on the successful staging of  two Tourism Linkages Speed Networking Meetings in Montego Bay and Kingston earlier this year.

The meetings, which were spearheaded by the Ministry’s Tourism Linkages Council, entailed 15-minute sessions throughout the day-long events between executives of supplier companies and managers of properties, restaurants, attractions and other tourism entities.

The events provided for the placement of orders, discussion on contracts and prices, as well as other areas of business.

It involved collaboration with the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and other partners.

The Tourism Linkages Hub is the framework the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment has developed to strengthen existing linkages between tourism and other sectors of the Jamaican economy and forge new ones.

The Minister noted that the Tourism Linkages Hub has been very successful in strengthening linkages between tourism and the rest of the economy, especially manufacturing, agriculture and the creative industries.

Dr. McNeill noted that a number of initiatives have been introduced to strengthen these linkages “and they have been going very well.”

He pointed out that local manufacturers and service providers had the opportunity to showcase their products and services at last year’s Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) and Caribbean Marketplace.

This resulted in the development of a number of leads, both local and international, from that exposure which has since translated into contracts for local producers.

“Of course, the agro-tourism farmers’ markets in Negril and Montego Bay, which have created an interface between farmers and hoteliers, have been very successful. These markets now take place every month and we plan to set them up in other areas,” the Minister informed.