Wednesday, 2 November 2016

JAMAICA: Minister Looking To Increase Visitor Arrivals

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says he is looking to surpass the five per cent growth target over five years, which he has set for the sector.

He said that work being undertaken through the Tourism Linkages Network to develop initiatives in sports and entertainment, shopping, knowledge, health and wellness, and gastronomy, will position the sector to exceed the mark.

“It is through the linkages that we are going to be able to get the economic penetration... and supply on the demand that tourism provides (and) creates, by increasing the numbers of visitors who come,” he contended.

Bartlett was speaking at last week’s media launch for the 2016 Tourism Outlook Seminar at Devon House in St Andrew.

Starting in 2017, the minister is looking to increase visitor arrivals to five million per year, moving earnings to US$5 billion.

He said that while the target is his immediate focus “it’s not my ultimate goal for growth”.

Bartlett said the Tourism Linkages Council under the chairmanship of Sandals Resorts Chief Executive Officer, Adam Stewart, has been doing a “good job”, so far, in creating new and exciting growth areas.

“We have built out five networks to support the five pillars of growth, and the leaders of those networks have been working very hard,” he said.

The five growth pillars include tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investment, building new partnerships, and human capital renewal.

“Jamaica is poised for great things and, in fact, is congealing into a key centre for global tourism. I am determined that the partnership that must subsist to enable the capacity to supply on the demand of tourism, will be had,” Bartlett underscored.

The Tourism Outlook Seminar will take place from December 6 to 8 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The event will be jointly staged by the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board, and United National World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), under the theme ‘Navigating Global Challenges for Continued Growth’.