Western News

Craft vendors, attractions to benefit from MOU

Friday, December 01, 2017

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Local craft vendors and operators of attractions are set to benefit from a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) Limited and The Travel Foundation, based in the United Kingdom.

The agreement establishes a framework of cooperation and collaboration, which will see both organisations working more closely to build the capacity of the targeted groups.

The objective is to increase local economic benefits from tourism by supporting craft markets and attractions to improve their practices, so as to attract more visitors.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the major objective of the MOU is to equip the operators to deliver to the visitors “the experiences that must define destination Jamaica”.

“It seeks to improve the capacity of our people to produce more, provide more, to be more creative and innovative, so that we can be more distinctive in terms of the quality of our offerings,” he added.

The minister was speaking at the signing ceremony held on Wednesday, the final day of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

TPDCo executive director, Dr Andrew Spencer, in a JIS News interview informed that his organisation has a keen interest in making sure that craft vendors can handle the needs and expectations of the millions of tourists visiting the island.

“We want to increase the business for them, so that they are able to deliver the highest level of hospitality,” he indicated.

The MOU will build on the existing partnership between TPDCo and The Travel Foundation under the recently launched Warm Welcome Campaign.

As part of that campaign, a team of 93 trained resort ambassadors has been established to help visitors get the most out of Montego Bay during their stay.

These resort ambassadors primarily comprise front-line hotel staff, and will soon include carriage drivers and district constables.

CEO of The Travel Foundation, Salli Felton, endorsed the partnership, noting that “we can achieve so much by working with TPDCo”.

“Their commitment and drive to build the capacity of the Jamaican people, creating new opportunities from tourism that can improve their quality of life, match our own sustainability ethos,” she said.

The Travel Foundation is a non-governmental organisation that works in partnership with leading tourism organisations around the world to improve the impact of tourism and shape a positive future for destinations.

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