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  • Delivering on the commitment to generate growth and foster prosperity is the key objective of the Government. One of our main goals is to ensure the sustainable development of our nation and an improved standard of living for every Jamaican.
  • The tourism industry will be instrumental in achieving these targets. It is a sector that has the potential to:
    • Stimulate wide-scale economic activity
    • Drive new growth in our communities
    • Generate the jobs we need so badly
    • Earn billions of dollars in foreign exchange.
  • Tourism is therefore ideally positioned to become a powerful catalyst for improving the socio-economic conditions of our people.
  • Our focus is to reposition tourism to generate higher growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings.
  • To accomplish this growth imperative we must ensure that all aspects of the product are right and that we can truly deliver on what we promise when we market Jamaica - Destination Assurance.
  • This means that we must take the tourism industry to a whole new level.  It requires a strong strategy with achievable goals to grow a vibrant tourism industry which contributes to sustainable economic growth.
  • Our targets:
    • Secure 5 million visitors by 2021
    • US$ 5 billion in tourism earnings
    • Increase the total direct jobs to 125,000
    • 15,000 new rooms.
  • So, how do we plan to achieve this? My Ministry and our Agencies will be focusing on the Five Pillars of Tourism Growth, as we seek to transform the island’s tourism sector, deepen linkages and achieve significant growth.
  • These Pillars are:
    • Tapping into new markets
    • Developing new products
    • Promoting investment
    • Building new partnerships, and;
    • Developing human capital
  • Underscoring these five pillars of growth, are five networks, incorporating several key sectors, that will better integrate tourism with the wider society and thereby better spread the benefits to all Jamaicans. These five networks are:
    • Gastronomy
    • Sports and Entertainment
    • Health and Wellness
    • Shopping, and
    • Knowledge


  • Legacy Markets: We will be taking a new approach in old markets – the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and Western Europe.
  • Canada: Particular attention will be paid to the Canadian market, which suffered a decline of 6.8 percent last year and a further 17 percent this year. I have mandated the JTB to present an action plan that will facilitate increased traffic from Canada.
  • New Markets:  We are ramping up our efforts to grow arrivals from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
  • Asia: We are focusing our attention on China, South Korea and Japan.
  • Latin America: We are targeting countries such as Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico. We are currently in discussions with our travel partners as we seek to refine our strategies and secure adequate airlift.
  • Eastern Europe: Visa facilitation is an important part of our strategy in targeting this region.
  • Multi-destination Tourism: We are currently pursuing a multi-destination marketing arrangement with Cuba and the Dominican Republic.  We have already signed an agreement with Cuba. Multi-destination tourism is an excellent architecture for Caribbean tourism, offering a value proposition that is irresistible especially for long haul destinations.
    • Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have total annual visitor arrivals of around 12 million and earnings of around US$12 billion.
    • This is a critical mass which would be an attractive proposition for airlines, tour operators and investors in tourism infrastructure.
  •  Cruise Marketing:  The JTB will be undertaking an aggressive cruise marketing initiative, which will entail intensified efforts to market the destination directly to cruise customers and marketing agents, as well as promoting local attractions and also to drive cruise conversion.
    • We are exploring the building out of new ports of call, including Downtown Kingston.
    • TUI AG has a new cruise ship that will be home porting in Montego Bay. This brings to four the number of vessels which will be home porting in Jamaica.


  • Timeshare:  The introduction of Timeshare vacations is another way in which we are diversifying our product mix as it:
    • Creates new economic opportunities for Jamaicans
    • Fuels investment
    • Enhances Jamaica’s international appeal

Timeshare is being regulated locally by the Real Estate Board (REB). The Ministry of Tourism is collaborating with the REB, JAMPRO, and other partners to roll out a marketing programme to attract developers and purchasers both locally and overseas.

  • Artisan Villages: We are aggressively pushing ahead with plans to construct artisan villages in resort areas across the island. The first facility will be built in Ocho Rios, with others to be established in Montego Bay, Falmouth, Port Antonio, and Negril over the next five years. The artisan villages will be “one stop shops” for authentic Jamaican food, music, heritage and craft.
  • Regulating the Craft Sector: The Ministry of Tourism is working to streamline and regulate the craft sector to enhance the standard of local craft and ensure that the genuine traders, who have been in the business for many years and have invested a lot of time and money, can reap the benefits.
  • Destination Assurance: Crucial to the effective development of our tourism product is destination assurance, which ensures our credibility in the marketplace.  It is delivering on our promise.

Visitor Safety and Security – A new layer of security is being added to the sector:

  • 87 District Constables are being trained under this new initiative. These officers will function under a special arm of the JCF, have policing powers and will focus specifically on boosting safety and security in resort areas.
  • We will be adding another 13 officers to bring the initial complement to 100 by the end of the year.
  • We are currently fine-tuning details with the Ministry of National Security, the Jamaica Constabulary Force and other stakeholders.
  • Management of Resort Areas: I will be establishing a new resort management structure which will be given greater powers to effectively address issues which are affecting the resort areas. These new bodies will replace the current Resort Boards and will also be inclusive and consist of a wide cross section of tourism stakeholders.
  • Repositioning the Tourism Enhancement Fund:  TEF has an integral role to play in the sustainable development of the tourism sector and its transformation. We will be repositioning the business model of the agency to respond effectively to the demands of our aggressive growth strategy.
    • Under this new model, TEF will fund strategic and targeted projects which support key activities aimed at realizing growth targets. These include: supporting the development of a hospitality school; artisan villages, the craft institute; and boosting safety and security within the sector.
    • TEF will also have a key role to play in funding the initiatives which will fall under the five pillars of tourism growth as well as the five networks.
  • The Five Networks:  We are very serious about building out new products to diversify our tourism offerings and appeal to the passion points of our visitors. This is why we are focusing on developing the five networks:
    • Gastronomy
    • Sports and Entertainment
    • Health and Wellness
    • Shopping, and
    • Knowledge

We will be undertaking extensive research to guide the development of these five networks. This will entail feasibility studies, demand analysis and capacity evaluation. We are developing a policy framework for each area as a guide.


  • We need to boost investment in not only the accommodations and attractions sub-sectors but also in the many other micro and small tourism industry supporting enterprises.
  • I have proposed the development of a formal framework to provide well needed banking support for persons who operate Small and Micro Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs).  TEF will conclude discussions with the EXIM Bank by September 2016 and they are in the process of finalizing an MOU, which will be signed shortly.
  • Under this agreement operators of SMTEs will be able to access up to $25 million dollars at 5 percent interest, over 5 years.
  • TEF is also in dialogue with Jamaica National (JN) to concretize plans for the development of a National Community Tourism Revolving Loan Scheme. They have agreed on an MOU which will also be signed in the coming weeks. Under the arrangement Community Tourism Entities will be able to access up to $2 million dollars at 3 percent interest, for up to 5 years.
  • Strengthening Linkages: More businesses in Jamaica need to supply the tourism sector and more specifically our hotels and attractions with the goods and services that they demand.
  • Our recently commissioned Tourism Demand Study has provided the Ministry with empirical data that will allow us to effectively plan and identify demand for goods and services in the sector.
  • The study shows that there is tremendous opportunity for trade that could be as high as J$56.7 billion annually for processed foods, J$5.3 billion for fruits, and J$1.6 billion for vegetables.
  • Annual leakage in the manufacturing sector is estimated at some J$65.4 billion, which is equivalent to 33 percent of total annual expenditure by the tourism sector on manufactured goods.
    • Tourism Linkages Network/Tourism Linkages Council
    • A new Chairman and new Council Members have been appointed to guide this essential initiative.
  • Shovel Ready Initiative:  This is for those larger projects that bring hundreds of new hotel rooms. The programme is preparing a number of sites by obtaining tacit development approvals; conducting capacity studies; assessing appropriate land utilization; and installing preliminary infrastructure. One key project included under this initiative is:
  • KARISMA Hotels and Resorts – the largest single development of hotels in Jamaican history.
    • US$1 billion mega hotel project in St Ann
    • 5,000 new rooms over the next five years
    • Will provide at least 8,000 new jobs
  • New Rooms:  Our growth agenda is predicated on our securing 15,000 new rooms in the next five years and I am pleased to say we are well on our way as over 1200 rooms are set to come on stream this Winter:
    • RUI Reggae  - 450 rooms
    • Bahia Principe Expansion – over 200 rooms
    • Royal DeCameron – 150 rooms
    • Karisma – 178 rooms
    • Royalton Trelawny – 225 rooms
  • Beyond winter there are well over 12,000 rooms coming on stream.
    • Karisma  – 5000 rooms
    • China Harbour – 5000 rooms
    • Spanish Court West  – 139 rooms
    • Roylton Negril – 600 rooms
    • H10 Hotel Development – 1000 rooms
    • Wyndham – over 300 rooms
    • Oceana – 200 rooms
    • Palmyra -  121 rooms


  • Our  Ministry will place added emphasis on partnerships aimed at empowering our people to help foster tourism’s growth from the community level in order to build a sustainable industry that has a positive impact on the lives of every Jamaican. We are forging strategic partnerships with airlines, tour operators, cruise companies and other tourism stakeholders, including the JHTA, AJAL, JMA, JEA, JCF, JAS, JCC and the PSOJ. These partnerships will form the foundation of our inclusive growth strategy.


  • We are committed to developing a competitive and productive workforce that can benefit from opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry.
    • Craft Institute
    • Hospitality School
  • These institutions are both absolutely crucial to enhancing training and educational opportunities for current and future workers in tourism.
  • We have been in discussions with stakeholders including representatives of various tertiary institutions, including the University of Technology and the University College of the Caribbean, as we seek to finalize arrangements to establish this institution.
  • Spruce Up Jamaica: In recognition of the need to incorporate as many Jamaicans into tourism and spread its benefits, we will be reintroducing our Spruce Up Jamaica programme:
    • Physical Environment
    • Mind, Body & Spirit
    • Community Development
    • Partnerships through Entrepreneurship and
    • Promoting Heritage
  • Spruce Up Jamaica seeks to facilitate sustainable livelihoods through job creation, sound environmental practices, the participation of communities in local area development, facilitation of small and micro tourism enterprises (SMTEs) and effective integrated marketing communications.
  • Conclusion: The future of tourism in Jamaica is looking bright. Our vision speaks to strategic initiatives and partnerships that will diversify our product build human capital and expand linkages with other sectors while targeting new markets, driving multi-destination tourism and ensuring that the growing tourism sector benefits all Jamaicans.
  • This new architecture is crucial as we seek to transform tourism into an engine of economic growth. We are committed to ensuring that the tourism sector has a broader and more constructive impact on communities throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica. Therefore, we are keen on achieving the significant growth in visitor arrivals and earnings that will make this possible.

Thank you.