Tourism thurst for carnival

Tourism thurst for carnival

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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EDMUND Bartlett, minister of tourism, says his ministry is moving towards developing Jamaica's cultural events into products that can be marketed as part of the country's tourism offerings.

“Events are good but you can't market and package events in the way you do a product. In tourism, we drive and market products, so we can package the product as a combination of rooms, air seat and the experience — and we provide that for the people,” said Bartlett.

The minister said the Tourism Ministry is working with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport to create some of those products.

He was speaking at the 2020 launch of Carnival in Jamaica at AC Hotel by Marriott in Kingston recently.

Bartlett said, so far, $10 million has been allocated to the Culture Ministry, which is working with the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) to create cultural reggae products.

Regarding carnival, he noted that this is one of the country's events that is being packaged as a tourism product.

“When we re-energised it in 2017 it was with one intention in mind, to create a carnival product so that we can market it, and it can become a critical content in the architecture and the arrangements that we are making for the dissemination of ideas and information about Jamaica,” said Bartlett.

“So this is very important to us because we're looking forward to building the city of Kingston as the entertainment centre of the Caribbean. We are not competing with anybody. You know what we're doing — we're creating something that is truly authentic, something that is opinionated, and something that people come to Jamaica to experience and consume and can go nowhere else and get it,” he added.

In her remarks, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange underscored the importance of carnival, not just as an avenue for entertainment, but also for job creation.

“Carnival in Jamaica offers employment to the creatives, artists, entertainers, bands, technicians, videographers, photographers, costume designers, etc. And so it's not just about fun, but it's also about creating employment,” she said.

Grange congratulated the organisers for bringing carnival to the island and for sustaining the event over the years.

“We have taken what was already an exciting Caribbean art form and, in true Jamaican style, we have made it better in terms of increased participation, boundless excitement, and expansive global impact,” she said.

Carnival in Jamaica is projected to have about 10,000 revellers. Present at the launch were the different Carnival bands such as Bacchanal, Ocho Rios Carnival, Xaymaca and Xodus Carnival.

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