Consultations underway to address gaps in tourism supply chain - BartlettMonday, June 21, 2021
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica— The Ministry of Tourism is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries to enable Jamaican producers to better meet the demands of a revived tourism industry.
The upshot is that the island will retain a larger percentage of the tourism dollar and create more jobs, according to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.
Towards this end, the tourism ministry initiated a series of high level meetings with representatives of the agricultural sector, including Agriculture Minister Floyd Green, to finalise the requisite arrangements.
Two crucial meetings were held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on the weekend: one meeting involving the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), to discuss the supply chain for meat and meat cuts, and agricultural produce; and the other with the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, exploring supply chain issues.
The consultations addressed issues relating to the supply side of the sector “in the vein of reimagining tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and to drive the new production and consumption patterns that we require to enable more local Jamaicans to be connected to the tourism value chain,” Bartlett said.
The meetings were welcomed as they facilitated dialogue with purveyors of goods that are sold to tourism players, followed by a discussion with the hoteliers.
“The first element of this arrangement is to have a sense of what the demand is by hearing from the hotels then to hear from the agricultural producers what it is that they can supply,” Bartlett disclosed.
“The picture emerging from this consultation is that the tourism industry is saying we are ready to start buying local in a fulsome way; what we want is for the local capacity to be developed to ensure the consistency of supply, the quantity and quality and that the price is good,” said Bartlett.
He further highlighted that “those four factors will influence greatly a higher degree of purchasing from our local providers” and the discussion will continue towards assuring suppliers and purchasers of consistency on both sides.
Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Council, Adam Stewart, and Chairman of the Agricultural Sub-Committee, Wayne Cummings will meet with agricultural stakeholders in the next two weeks to fine tune the demand requirements and supply capabilities.
Additionally, Bartlett said discussions had been initiated with the banking sector to be a part of the drive to facilitate the full recovery of the tourism industry.
He expressed confidence that tourism was showing signs of recovery “and this is why we’re moving so fast to bring the partners together because the pandemic brought tourism literally to a halt and what it meant is that we were all at point zero, and this is a good time to bring the partners together so that we build back together.”
Bartlett underscored that all parties growing together would augur well for the industry and that all Jamaicans stand to benefit from a unified approach.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login