Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (first row, third left), with members of the Tourism Linkages Council, as well as chairpersons of five newly established tourism linkages networks, and other stakeholders. Occasion was the official press launch of the networks in New Kingston on Thursday. Others (from left, front row) are: Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry, Jennifer Griffith; Director of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Members Programme, Yolanda Perdomo-Aparicio; Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Council, Adam Stewart; Chairman of the Gastronomy linkages network, Nicola Madden-Greig; and Chairman of the Health and Wellness linkages network, Dr Henry Lowe. In the second row (from left) are Chairman of the Knowledge linkages network, David Butler; President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Metry Seaga; Director of Tourism, Paul Pennicook; Deputy Chairman, Tourism Linkages Council, Kevin Hendrickson; Chairman of the Sports and Entertainment tourism linkages network, Kamal Bankay; and Senior Advisor to the Minister of Tourism, Dr Lloyd Waller. Photo: Donald De La Haye
By Alecia Smith
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- Five new tourism subsectors have been added to the country’s offerings as the government ramps up efforts to promote Jamaica as an ideal tourist destination.
The new areas, which form part of the country’s tourism linkages network, are sports and entertainment, shopping, knowledge, health and wellness, and gastronomy.
They were established to further diversify the country’s tourism offerings, create business opportunities and increase the use of local goods and services within the tourism sector.
Speaking at the official press launch on Thursday, minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, said these key areas will serve to greatly enhance the country’s tourism product.
“This launch is important because it marks the start of what promises to be an exciting future for local tourism as the public and private sectors come together to unleash Jamaica’s true potential as a tourist destination,” he said.
The minister said the government will be working on the policies relating to the new networks, which he intends to introduce in time for his budget presentation next year.
“We have already done the concept paper, which Cabinet has approved. We will now do the White Paper and then have the policy ready for Parliament’s approval when I make my presentation,” he said.
Formerly the Tourism Linkages Hub, the primary goal of the Tourism Linkages Network is to ensure that Jamaica’s tourism sector becomes better integrated with other sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing.
The objective is to increase the consumption of local goods, create employment, and generate and retain more of the country’s foreign-exchange earnings.
The Tourism Linkages Network is supported by a Tourism Linkages Council, made up of public- and private-sector partners, who oversee the coordination and implementation of effective and sustainable strategies that strengthen and facilitate linkages.