JIS News

Tourism Awareness Week 2006 will be celebrated from November 26 to December 2, under the theme: ‘Tourism Enriches Local Culture, Heritage and Communities’.
Announcing a series of activities for the week at a press briefing held today (November 23), at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Aloun Assamba, explained that the celebrations were shifted from around World Tourism Day, which was recognised on September 27, to give the week, “more visibility ahead of the winter tourist season, which begins on December 15”.
The Minister noted that the “key goal this year, is to drive home the fact that tourism is everybody’s business”.
“We remain true to the principles of ‘joined-up government’ and private-public sector partnerships, as all activities will reflect. All agencies of the Ministry are involved, as well as other key ministries and the regional chapters of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association,” the Minister informed.
She said that the series of activities to mark the week, “will move through all six tourism resort areas, but with each resort having its own programme, replicating the national template”.
The week’s activities will begin on November 26 with a Praise and Worship session on the pier in Port Antonio. This event, to be spearheaded by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), will showcase established and emerging exponents of the gospel music genre.
On Monday, November 27, the activities will shift to Negril, where entertainment co-ordinators in the hotels will be engaged in a workshop.
Another workshop is planned for Tuesday, November 28 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, and is targeted at owners, managers and senior supervisors from all sub-sectors in the industry, to discuss what goes into maintaining and marketing ‘brand Jamaica’.
Presenters at the workshop will include: General Secretary at the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Vincent Vanderpool Wallace; new Director of Tourism, Basil Smith and representatives of Jamaica’s US communication agency, Ruder Finn.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) will be hosting its Industry Awards ceremony at the Rose Hall Resort & Country Club in Montego Bay. Awards will be presented to key partners in the accommodation, attraction, transportation and other sub- sectors.
Entities whose contributions to tourism have enriched the lives and livelihood of communities with which they are associated, will be recognized and awarded at the Tourism Achievement Awards, which is slated for Thursday at Sandals Whitehouse.
The week’s activities will culminate on Saturday, December 2 with the staging of a ‘Tourism Togetherness Concert’ in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth.
This concert, Minister Assamba said, “is a thank you gift to the people in these quiet communities that are now cradling and supporting the newest growth area in tourism”.
In his remarks, new Director of Tourism, Basil Smith emphasized the importance of the week and encouraged Jamaicans “to reflect on not only the benefits that might be derived materially from tourism, but also on the way they can support the industry’s growth”.