Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, is calling for a new approach to tourism in the Caribbean. He said although the ‘go-it-alone’ model is the accepted norm the time has come to adopt the new concept of multi-destination marketing.
He said countries would have better outcomes “by pooling their resources together.”
“Multi-destination marketing is not only a potential game-changer but is also one that could propel the Caribbean to the top of the food chain in global tourism,” said the Minister.
“The tourism industry is highly competitive and demands sustainable and innovative marketing strategies to ensure long term success. Therefore, to this end, it has become increasingly necessary to strengthen co-operation networks between countries, so as to increase and better share the revenues generated by tourism,” he added.
According to Mr. Bartlett, the multi-destination arrangements now in place with Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, Jamaica has paved the way and will continue as Jamaica seeks to boost tourist arrival.
He said that the multi-destination strategy is one of three legacy outcomes from the November 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference that was held in Montego Bay, which called on Caribbean governments and the private sector to work together to advance regional integration by fostering and harmonizing legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, product development, promotion, and human capital.
“The tourism industry is one of the primary vehicles for social and economic development of countries in the region,” Bartlett said.
“There has never been any doubt in my mind that the Caribbean can gain a competitive advantage and thus enhance sustainability if it can package and market its varied attractions more cohesively to entice potential visitors,” he argued.
Bartlett emphasized that multi-destination goes beyond marketing and promotion, adding that it is an approach to tourism development that adds value to the tourism experience while expanding the benefits of the industry to more than one destination.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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