Bartlett says steps being taken to reset tourism sector

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Bartlett says steps being taken to reset tourism sector

Monday, February 08, 2021

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ST CATHERINE, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett says steps are currently being taken to 'reset' the tourism sector to ensure that it benefits even more Jamaicans and fuels greater economic growth, whenever the sector rebounds from the impact of COVID-19.

Bartlett added that the Ministry of Tourism has embarked upon a series of consultations with key stakeholders, aimed at maximising the opportunity to reorganise the local tourism industry.

“I think that this is a good moment for Jamaica to really reset tourism so that we become a more inclusive industry, and the flow-through effect on the economy that tourism has the capacity to provide, is then realised,” said Bartlett.

He outlined that the tourism ministry is currently in dialogue with JAMPRO regarding the initiative, adding that he has also had discussions with his colleague, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Aubyn Hill.

The tourism minister noted that the discussions are intended “to look at how we start that whole arrangement, first of all to have an analysis of the supply side and then the demand side.”

In resetting the tourism industry, Bartlett said after making a determination on what is required to satisfy demand and supply, “the next move will be to the financial and technical markets and we acquire that technology and we bring that to bear, to enable us to create that capability.”

He said the downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic had provided the opportunity to give the global tourism industry a new start and to take it to a higher level than where it was, having peaked at a 60 per cent occupancy rate for some countries but not Jamaica.

“This is the opportunity for us to do that. I want to continue this debate and in fact I am going to have a paper done on this reset of the tourism industry and we begin to talk with our partners so that there's an understanding of what needs to be done in the next six months or so, as we try to reposition tourism as a true driver of the economy and as a means by which a far greater number of our Jamaican people will realise their true potential,” said Bartlett.

The minister's disclosure of the latest tourism initiative was made following an extensive tour of the 350-year-old Worthy Park Estate, which has developed a tour that adds to Destination Jamaica's product offering and has been appealing to both locals and visitors.

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