Latest News

Bartlett lauds travel agents as valued tourism partners

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

ST ANN, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has lauded travel agents as “true partners for Jamaica” as the destination consistently attains record visitor arrivals, especially over the past two years.

Bartlett, who was delivering the keynote address at the Sandals 16th Annual USA Travel Agent Golf Tournament Awards Dinner at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort on Saturday, told the 150 team members from North America that their being here provided “a wonderful opportunity for us to show off who our true partners are and who are the great producers for Jamaica.”

According to a release from the ministry, Bartlett said Jamaica was “very serious” about honouring travel agents and tour operators “because we are perhaps one of the few countries in the Caribbean that actually gives national honours to our partners both in the distributive trade as well as in other areas of tourism relationships.”

He mentioned that travel agent Edith Baxter from the Edith Baxter Group was awarded the Order of Distinction “in recognition of the work that she has done for tourism in Canada on our behalf.”

In October this year, two Americans will be honoured accordingly. Bill DiMaggio of Mark Travel who has brought visitors to Jamaica for 50 years is one and the other John Mullen, now retired from Apple Vacations, the release said.

Bartlett noted that 50 years ago 400,000 people visited Jamaica as tourists and spent US$87 million compared to 4.3 million visitors last year spending US$3 billion. Additionally, the tourist industry employed 119,000 Jamaicans last year against 9,000 50 years ago.

He underscored that the travel agents' support and marketing of Jamaica has paid off.

“So you see that because of you, today over 53 per cent of the foreign exchange generated by the country is directly from tourism,” he told them.

The Tourism Minister said according to STATIN and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), tourism was the only industry that had grown as a percentage of GDP over the last ten years, moving significantly from 7.1 per cent in 2007 to 8.4 per cent in 2017.

“The hard-core fact that these numbers are indicating is the economic value and impact of tourism today,” he said.

Bartlett gave an assurance that Jamaica had grown over the years not just as a centre where people come to enjoy sand, sea and sun “but we have emerged to becoming a safe, secure and seamless destination.”

Bartlett also commended the Sandals for its singular role in creating the world's top hotel brand in Jamaica and the success of its travel agents golf tournament. He mentioned that as part of the Sports and Entertainment Network in the Tourism Linkages Network, a deliberate effort was being made to develop sports tourism and in that regard, discussions were held with a firm in Canada recently to bring golfers to Jamaica, the release added.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon