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Tourism Ministry invests $30 million in website

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett disclosed that the ministry has invested $30 million in the establishment of a fully integrated tourism website that has been developed in conjunction with Google and will be launched in June.

“That's the game-changer that we've been looking for to enable a platform in which all players can now come and populate with their content,” said Bartlett, while speaking at a Smart Destination Workshop held last week Friday.

The ministry, in a release today, said that this would allow for small vendors, classified as small and medium tourism enterprises, to have access.

“The big word for us in smart tourism is access and Jamaica will provide access for visitors from all over the world,” said Bartlett.

Bartlett added that he believed in the coming together of public and private sector entities to demonstrate the use of technology in the forward thrust to grow tourism, as “a phenomenal development and it is putting Jamaica at the cutting edge of the new tourism.”

He posited that “it is going to enable us to be sustainable in terms of our development process.”
The tourism minister regarded the workshop as “being central in terms of creating and mapping out this new architecture for tourism” and advocated having this forum more often than once a year.

Bartlett underlined that “the change that is taking place in tourism today is absolutely mind boggling and destinations are undergoing a level of metamorphosis that is faster than even they can recognize themselves.” He said the change was coming because of “the fourth revolution” which he defined as

“the huge influx of cognitive systems that are redefining the way things are done, adding value to innovation.”

He issued a call “to wake up” and realize that tourism was now a brand new mega global industry with a value of US$8 trillion, representing ten per cent of global GDP, second only to the financial services at 19 per cent, and employing 400 million people last year. Tourism also accounted for 30 per cent of trading services worldwide.

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