According to Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, 90 percent of previously planned projects are still on target, despite the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“COVID-19 has given a little setback but picking up on 2021, we will be on track for somewhere in 2024, and that’s very exciting. We are going to be good for 2024,” Mr. Bartlett said.
The Minister noted that there are several projects set to come on stream. These include, among others, new hotels in St. James and Hanover covering 1,700 and 2,000 rooms, respectively, along with tourism development programs planned for Port Royal and the wider Kingston.
“This show of confidence in Jamaica by investors has helped to boost our image as a leading tourist destination. Additionally, these investments are creating job opportunities for Jamaicans and further fueling the expansion and diversification of our tourism product,” the Minister said.
He said that the Government continues to work tirelessly to create an environment that attracts and fosters premium investment in the tourism sector.
“Accordingly, we are investing in infrastructure development, including the modernization and expansion of the two international airports, improving the road network and the expansion and development of cruise-ship piers,” he noted.
Mr. Bartlett said he is confident that Jamaica’s future growth will be through tourism as the country seeks to rebound from the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
He pointed out that focus on experiential marketing will be instrumental in this regard and allow Jamaica to keep a competitive edge.
“We must build our capacity to absorb the demand that tourism brings. This capacity resides in our ability to invest more in the experiences that the visitor consumes, and those experiences must be local and owned by our people,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“That ownership of the indigenous experiences allows for the retention of the dollar and a more equitable distribution of the industry’s benefits,” he added.
Nigel Bell Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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