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Bartlett urges diaspora investment in tourism

BY HAROLD BAILEY
Observer writer

Saturday, February 24, 2018

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NEW YORK, United States — Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett on Thursday told Jamaicans here, and in other parts of the world that considerable investment opportunities exist in Jamaica's tourism sector and encouraged them to “begin to take advantage” of them.

Declaring that Jamaica is now “one of the most sought-after tourist destinations worldwide”, the minister told members of the Jamaican-American Chamber of Commerce at a luncheon in Midtown Manhattan that “many of these opportunities are in the supply side of the industry”.

“There is a lot of money to be made from investing in the industry,” he said, pointing out that this is evidenced by the record 4.3 million visitors to the island last year.

The minister also outlined a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Jamaican Government to boost visitor arrivals during the current year and beyond.

“For this and other improvements to materialise, we have to meet the added demands, and if such demands cannot be met locally, then we have to look outside of the country,” Bartlett told his audience which included tour operators, travel agents and other stakeholders in the tourism industry.

Noting that tourism contributed 11,000 jobs to the Jamaican economy last year, Bartlett said the sector has the potential to become the “largest driver of employment and growth in Jamaica”.

But he warned that the right linkages needed to be put together to achieve such growth.

Responding to a Jamaica Observer query about the possibility of re-opening a Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) office in this city, Bartlett said that there are no immediate plans to do so.

The JTB's operations in the United States are undertaken from offices in Miami.

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