Tourism Ministry launches Jamaica Blue Mountain Culinary Tour

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The rich history, culture and cuisine of the Blue Mountain region were on full display, as the Gastronomy Network of the Ministry of Tourism hosted a soft launch of the Blue Mountain Culinary Tour on Sunday.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Tour will be one of the first projects of the Gastronomy Network, which was created with the intention to foster the growth of culinary tourism as a product niche for Jamaica, according to the ministry.
A release from the ministry disclosed that the tour currently features 15 participating eateries and attractions such as Café Blue, The Gap Café, RafJam Bed and Breakfast and Old Tavern Coffee Estate – with more expected to come on board before the trail officially begins later this year.
Speaking at the launch ceremony at Belcour Lodge in Irish Town, Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett indicated that the concept was designed to not only highlight the gastronomic product in the region, but to also directly benefit community members and tour operators who conduct business within the area.
“We are trying to bring the wealth of tourism into the communities that are in the Blue Mountain area. The concept is a low density, low impact, soft tourism which drives a different type of demographic. It will bring a mixture of nature and creativity with additional efforts on our parts to include a little bit of hard infrastructure work, because we have to do the tours along nice roadways,” said Bartlett.
Chairman of the Gastronomy Network, Nicola Madden-Grieg, also shared that the network has informed tour operators that the tour is customizable.
“Tour guides have the option to combine the culinary experiences with stops at places such as Newcastle, Heritage Gardens, and Holywell. Individuals as well as tour operators may also choose to have their own itineraries including stops at area bars and food stalls,” said Madden-Grieg.
During the soft launch the ministry also disclosed that the Gastronomy Network will be hosting the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival in March 2018.
The three-day event, which is in the preliminary planning stages, will take place in the Blue Mountain region featuring activities such as training and development seminars for coffee farmers; coffee farm and factory tours; culinary tours and experiences; and a coffee exhibition. International coffee buyers will also be invited to attend the festival.

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