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Bahamas tourism minister endorses Jamaica's all-inclusive model

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation Dionisio James D'Aguilar has praised Jamaica's all-inclusive model, claiming his country looks in envy at how the model has grown Jamaica's tourism sector.

"I think that all-inclusives have done extremely well for Jamaica. And I say this as minister of tourism for the Bahamas. I look in envy at how well they have done to grow foreign visitors to the country," he said.

James pointed out that the Jamaica all-inclusive model finds favour with European guests.

"I think there is a large segment of the world, especially from Europe, that love that concept. And that is why Jamaica does so incredibly well with European tourists, whereas The Bahamas does not. And, as a result, these European tourists come for longer," he said.

He said the challenge is now for local entrepreneurs to entice visitors.

"The challenge is for local entrepreneurs to entice those visitors out of those all-inclusives…maybe two days to go off and do a tour and to go and embed themselves into the local communities," he suggested.

"So I think the all-inclusives is the hook to get the people to come. Now the local businesses and entrepreneurs have to figure out how to entice them out of these gated communities. But never shy away from that model. That model is the hook that is getting them here. It is a much shorter distance to get them from their hotel rooms into your business, than to try to entice them to your country."

James was speaking with the media at the close of the recently held United Nations-World Trade Organization (UNWTO) international tourism conference held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

There, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stated that there is a need for the lowering of walls between tourists and host communities, claiming the practice of constructing five-star hotels in three-star communities cannot continue.

Anthony Lewis

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