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KINGSTON, Jamaica; January 20, 2022: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett had brief discussions in Spain today with President of the Dominican Republic (DR), His Excellency Luis Abinader and other top DR officials to strengthen tourism relations. This will in part result in a new level of multi-destinational tourism aimed at redefining how tourism functions in the region.
The move comes as Minister Bartlett and a small team attend FITUR, the world's largest annual international travel and tourism tradeshow, currently being held in Madrid, Spain.
"Jamaica and the Dominican Republic will enter a new era of ‘co-petition,’ that is, collaboration and cooperation in tourism development rather than the traditional competition that has been a feature of the pre-COVID tourism arrangements in the Caribbean. The country's President is here at FITUR for an entire week along with Minister David Collado, the Minister of Tourism, and the commitment is for us to work together to build tourism in the region," said Minister Bartlett.
The leaders also discussed the possibility of launching a multi-destination marketing campaign, one of three legacy outcomes from the November 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference in Montego Bay, which urged Caribbean governments and the private sector to collaborate to advance regional integration through the promotion and harmonization of legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, and product development.
"Leading this programme is an exciting feature of the way forward for tourism in the Caribbean, and the essence of this will lead, in fact, to a level of multi-destination tourism that will redefine the way tourism functions in the region. But more importantly, it will set the stage for expanding the market within our area to meet the larger and more exciting players within the global industry and attract the mega-airlines that bring long-haul passengers into the Caribbean," Bartlett explained.
We are excited about the prospects of a new era for tourism development, and Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are at the centre of this," he added.
Bartlett also shared that debt management and funding were also at the heart of the discussions he had at FITUR to help stakeholders who were hardest hit by the pandemic to rebuild. He spoke to the President of Banco Popular, Ignacio Alvarez, which is the largest tourism bank in the Caribbean, to discuss elements of debt management in a sector that is hugely affected by credit arrangements because of the pandemic and the halt in economic activity within the tourism space for over a year.