Health And Wellness Industry Offers Significant Economic Opportunities – Tourism Minister

With an estimated value of US$4.3 trillion globally, the health and wellness industry offers significant economic opportunities to Jamaica, says Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

Speaking to JIS News after the Fifth staging of the Jamaica Health and Wellness Tourism Conference, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on November 16, Mr. Bartlett said that to make an inroad into the lucrative market, Jamaica intends to promote existing medical tourism products and services as well as to develop and market spa facilities throughout the island.

“The Ministry will work with medical facilities and doctors who already meet international standards and who offer services in key target areas such as medical diagnostic, dental, and medical surgeries,” the Minister added.

He pointed out that developing the health and wellness subsector is among the Ministry’s growth strategy goals, “offering visitors an unmatched value proposition based on innovation, diversification, and differentiation of our tourism product”.

The Minister said the evidence suggests that as the population ages, people are living longer due to increased access to improved healthcare, and global population levels for persons over the age of 60 are expected to double between 2000 and 2050.

He explained that this has led to an increased interest in total body healthcare and a resultant demand for health-related resources, which forms the basis for health and wellness tourism.

“The primary focus of the Ministry’s strategy, however, will be on developing the health and wellness product,” Mr. Bartlett said, adding that the Milk River Bath in Clarendon and Bath, St. Thomas, spa facilities will undergo restoration to meet international standards and demands.

“The Ministry will also coordinate and support product development utilizing available to create products for the spa facilities and for sale to visitors,” he noted.

“The richness of our biodiversity and the potential for nutraceutical products that are in demand and offer so much possibility for health and wellness put Jamaica as a premier destination in the Caribbean in particular, as we are the country with perhaps more offerings for health and wellness than all the English-speaking Caribbean islands combined,” the Minister added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said that Jamaica’s unique combination of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and proximity to the United States gives it a competitive advantage over many of its global competitors, explaining that as the demand for holistic experiences and well-being continues to rise, Jamaica can establish itself as a leading choice for travelers seeking restorative retreats.

He said that by capitalizing on its diverse resources and fostering partnerships, Jamaica can unlock significant value-added earnings and contribute positively to the nation’s economic growth, while bringing solace and rejuvenation to visitors from around the world.

“As Jamaica continues to invest in its health and wellness tourism sector, significant value-added earnings can be expected. The influx of international visitors seeking wellness experiences will lead to increased revenue from accommodation, dining, leisure activities, and transportation services,” the Minister argued.

He said that partnerships have been established with wellness industry leaders, global travel agencies, and influential wellness bloggers to enhance Jamaica’s visibility as a premier destination, adding that the Government is actively supporting the construction of wellness resorts and investing in sustainable infrastructure, ensuring that Jamaica remains competitive in the global health and wellness tourism market.

Source — jis

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 Edited by Jesus Chan

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