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Tourism minister calls for build-out of more eateries

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has called for the build-out of more eateries across the island to meet the growing tourist trade, as most visitors travel for food experiences.

Delivering the keynote address at the launch of Top Events Jamaica, at Devon House in St Andrew on April 17, Bartlett said work done by the Tourism Linkages Network has indicated that food is at the top of the reasons people travel.

“We have found that people travel firstly for food experiences, and they spend 42 per cent of their expenditure on food; so it makes sense if you build out the food network,” he reasoned.

Bartlett said the $1-billion loan scheme that the Government has established through the National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica (EXIM Bank) for tourism enterprises, where persons can borrow from $5 million to $25 million at the low interest rate of 4.5 per cent, should be utilised for culinary establishments.

The minister said that since the establishment of the Gastronomy Network, under the Chairmanship of former President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Nicola Madden-Greig, much of the country's herbs, spices and general agricultural products are taking centre stage.

“Our farmers are becoming involved in a greater way, of providing the food and fresh fruits and vegetables that the industry needs across Jamaica, while manufacturers are making furniture at the standard required by the hotels,” he said.

Top Events Jamaica is a marketing outfit designed to promote the island's best events in the categories of sports, entertainment, health, wellness, shopping, food and conferences.

It works closely with the Jamaica Tourist Board.


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