Bartlett urges Diaspora to invest in the local tourism sector
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is encouraging members of the Diaspora to invest in the local tourism sector, which continues to drive Jamaica's economic recovery.

Speaking during the 'Let's Connect with Ambassador Marks' online series on Thursday, Bartlett noted that: "we have a Diaspora with enormous wealth, experience, capabilities, talent, skill, and connectivity with communities.”

“We need to be investing in capital formation and new enterprises in Jamaica so that Jamaica can build its capacity to respond to the demand that tourism brings," he added.

He said that one key sector that needs investment is agriculture. He added that Jamaica has not been able to produce the required agricultural supplies in the numbers, volume, consistency and at the price point required to supply the hotels.

"The next element that we are moving in on very strongly is to build out the capacity of Jamaica in this current and post COVID-19 period to deliver more on the demand of tourism. We argue that tourism is an extractive industry because we have not been able to supply the agricultural demands of the industry," Bartlett said.

"It is important that the highest level of production and output be available at all times. When that is not so, it must be had regardless, and therein lies the problem of leakages within the economy. We bring together the potential for increasing the production patterns within our country, which has to be driven by investments or public-private partnerships. So, we also need investments in the manufacturing of various goods that are utilised in the industry," he added.

"When we look at other services, such as energy, communication, financial, insurance, health, and transportation, billions of dollars are spent on transfers of visitors from airports to hotels and attractions. Investment is also needed in attractions because tourism fulfills the passions of people, and they travel to do just that."

During his presentation, he also said that the Government will be targeting more high-end investments in the sector.

"I think we have reached the level in room count for mass tourism, and we are moving now to high-end. So, it will be lower density and higher-end, with higher average daily rates and stronger input on value-added," he said.

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