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Minister Bartlett Lays out Five Pillars for Tourism Growth

Release Date: 
Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 15:30

MONTEGO  BAY,  St.  James,  Jamaica,  April  10,  2016:  Minister  of  Tourism,  Hon.  Edmund  Bartlett  has outlined to the new boards of directors of key agencies in the ministry, five pillars on which the Ministry and  its  agencies  will  seek  to  transform  the  island's  vibrant  tourism  sector  and  achieve  double  digit growth.

The pillars were outlined yesterday (April 9) during a seminar at the Montego Bay Convention Centre for all board members, to inform them of their roles as directors of their respective agencies. In attendance were chairmen and board members of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF),  Tourism  Product  Development  Company  (TPDCo),  Jamaica  Vacations Limited  (JAMVAC)  and Devon House Development Company.

The  five  pillars  include  tapping  into  new  markets,  developing  new  products,  promoting  investment, building new partnerships and the development of human capital.

With  sights  set  on  pulling  in  more  than  US$3    billion  from  the  US$7.2  trillion  global  tourism  market, Minister  Bartlett  said  "we're  going  to  go  to  new  markets  but  we  have  to  be  careful  about  that."  He explained that "our existing key market is still not giving us the full returns that we want." 

The United States is being targeted alongside Canada for increased market share. Minister Bartlett was resolute that, "there's so much more to get from the United States,and we're gonna get it." Already, he said an additional flight has been secured out of Vancouver, Canada for the winter.

The  thrust  will  also  seek  to  grow  the  UK  market  which  has  been  recovering  from  a  slump  due  to  a recession. "We're going to grow further because during the period we acquired new partners which put us  in  a  position  where  we  are  able  now  to  benefit  from  the  growth  curve  that  is  taking  place  in  that economy," said Minister Bartlett. 

The  Caribbean  and  Asia,  in  particular  China  have  also  been  prioritized  and  Mr.  Bartlett  stressed  that Cuba was strategically positioned to help in the growth of tourism in the Caribbean which would augur well  for  Jamaica.  The  interest  in  Cuba  he  says  should  play  a  key  role  in enabling  the  region  to  secure better airlift arrangements and facilitate multi-destination marketing in the region.

Regarding  investments  and  partnerships,  Minister  Bartlett  told  the  board  directors  that  while  foreign direct  investment  would  be  pursued  to  build  large  hotels,  there  will  also  be  heavy  focus  on  convincing more  Jamaicans  to  invest  in  the  industry.  This,  he  said,  could  be  achieved  by  providing  services, developing  attractions  and  transforming  small  hotels  and  private  homes  to  meet  the  requirements  of special needs travellers and other groups.

He  said  based  upon  survey  results,  words  which  resonate  best  with  Jamaica are  food,  music  and  love and these ingredients will be woven into the marketing strategy to attract more tourists to the island.

Elaborating on the development of human capital, the tourism minister said service was a key element "so  we  must  train  our  workers  and  we're  going  to  build  out  in  this  dispensation  the  hospitality  school  that we've been talking about." 

He also disclosed that, "we're going to build out the capacity of our artisans to produce goods of a wide variety  with  strong  creative  output."  To  achieve  this,  "an  institute  of  craft  is  going  to  be  developed  to enable  us  to  have  goods  made  in  Jamaica,  sold  by  Jamaicans  and  to  carry  the  value  of  Jamaica  to  the four corners of the world." Concurrently,  he  said  three  artisan  villages  will  be  constructed,  one  in  Ocho  Rios,  another  in  Montego Bay and the third in Falmouth.