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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica; Friday, November 19, 2021: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica is moving ahead in earnest with the implementation of its Blue Ocean Strategy for resetting the tourism industry, in order to ensure that the sector thrives in the post COVID-19 era.
“Our Blue Ocean Strategy calls for a resetting of our tourism to identify and establish innovative policies, systems, protocols, and standards that assure our visitors a safer, secure, and seamless experience while building out a new national tourism model based on a diversified portfolio of unique and authentic attractions and activities, which draw heavily on Jamaica's natural and cultural assets,” said Minister Bartlett.
He was delivering the keynote address during the opening of the 3rd Jamaica Health & Wellness Tourism Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre yesterday. The event is being staged by the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN), a division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), and runs from November 18-19. The conference is being held under the theme: “Refresh, Reboot, Reawaken – The New World of Health and Wellness” and has brought together leaders in the health and wellness tourism industry from Jamaica and around the world through various virtual platforms.
Minister Bartlett said, in the long term, a vital component of the Blue Ocean Strategy would be “to strengthen the systems for tourism zoning and theming so that the unique characteristics of each destination area will be preserved and enhanced to support their own distinct brand appeal.”
He outlined that diversification of the tourism product was at the heart of the recovery of the industry from the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and travellers were now focused on their own health and wellness as they too seek recovery from the mental strain of the past 20 months. He suggested that as people seek out destinations that offer them comfort and relaxation from stress, there was the need to drive health and wellness even harder as one of the passion points and build products around them to bring more visitors of a diverse nature to the destination.
With this in mind, Minister Bartlett expressed the view that Jamaica was poised to benefit from the global US$4.5 trillion health and wellness tourism market with its abundance of natural assets.
“This island could well be classified as the Caribbean’s Garden of Eden with its wide selection of herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables, rivers and springs and enchanted sites of verdant countrysides and meandering landscapes. There are also our waterfalls, our beaches and spas that contribute to a feeling of wellness,” declared the Tourism Minister.
Minister Bartlett said health and wellness tourism was a dynamic sector with the techniques and products used always evolving. He was therefore pleased that the conference offered insights into the changes taking place through practical presentations and panel discussions on areas such as Global Wellness Trends and Insights; Mental Wellness; The New World of Spas; The New Wellness Traveller; Nutrition and Wellness; Investment Opportunities in the new Wellness Industry; Wellness and Music, and Wellness in the Community.