Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Upbeat about Growth

Addressing a press conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, recently, Mr. Bartlett said that the summer tourism season “has started with a bang”, a trend he is expecting to continue throughout the fall and into the winter season in December.

He noted that strong numbers are expected from the United States (U.S.).

“The U.S. market continues to grow and the summer projections are pretty strong. In fact, the winter looks pretty strong and so we are keeping our fingers crossed that everything continues the way it is, as we are determined to get to that five per cent growth,” he said.

Jamaica1The Tourism Minister is targeting growth at a minimum of five per cent per annum for the next five years, starting in 2017.

He said Jamaica will continue to be proactive in maintaining a strong presence in the critical and lucrative US travel market.

“This is our growth market… this is our largest market and, of course, the most significant market for us,” he pointed out.

He has also called on tourism interests to come together to protect the sector, which he noted, is a major engine of economic growth.

“We have to do what is necessary to get our visitors wanting to come back and spread the message of how wonderful it is to vacation in Jamaica. We can’t have them going back and talking about unpleasant experiences and cautioning their friends and neighbors against visiting our shores. This is where destination assurance is very important and we all have to do our part,” he pointed out.

He praised critical stakeholders, who have been unwavering in their commitment to improving and building on the tourism product.

“I love the idea that we are all working together as partners as opposed to the notion that we are competing directly against each other,” he said.

“When the destination wins, then we will all do well together; that is the spirit I am seeing and that is the kind of spirit that will make all our dreams come true as a nation,” Minister Bartlett added.

Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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