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Minister Bartlett: St. Thomas being targeted for tourism development

Minister Bartlett: St. Thomas being targeted for tourism development

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Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism will be taking strategic steps to facilitate the development of tourism in St. Thomas and the expansion of the sector along the South Coast and in other parts of the country that have untapped tourism potential. 

This was revealed by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett as he
addressed the Tourism Awareness Week 2020 Thanksgiving Church Service, on World Tourism Day (September 27). He said: “We will
continue to build out a framework of support that will include product
development, training, infrastructural improvement and access to financing for
rural communities.”

With more major projects set to come on-stream, Minister Bartlett said:
“We are committed to
adding depth and diversity to our tourism product while providing economic
viability in communities beyond Jamaica’s traditional resort areas. This will lay the foundation for a more equitable, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector that benefits all
Jamaicans.”

The service, hosted by Trumpet Call Ministries International in
Montego Bay, was one of several activities by the Ministry, as it joined the global
community and the
United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in observing World Tourism
Day and to kick-start the local Tourism Awareness Week (TAW) activities. 

Other activities for the week include: Daily
advertorials highlighting rural development initiatives of the Ministry of
Tourism and its agencies, a virtual expo, a virtual webinar, social media competitions, and a youth photography
competition.

Minister Bartlett said this year’s World
Tourism Day theme: “Tourism and Rural Development” highlighted
the unique role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside of big
cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world. The
theme is guiding
local activities from September 27 – October 3 to raise awareness of tourism’s
significant contribution to the island’s wide-scale growth and development.”

Minister Bartlett has expressed confidence that
the industry will help to foster the country’s economic rebound. He said:
“Tourism is the heartbeat of our economy and will serve as the catalyst of
Jamaica’s Post-COVID-19 economic recovery.”

The Minister added that “as we re-imagine our tourism product in these uncertain times, the focus
on rural development seems quite timely. Tourism in rural areas will
provide key opportunities for recovery, as these communities seek to bounce
back from the harsh economic setback caused by the pandemic.”

The week of activities is being
supported by the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and newly-elected
president, Clifton Reader expressed assurance that “COVID has dealt us a severe
blow but we will rise again.”

Mr. Reader commended the tourism sector’s COVID-19 health and safety
protocols and said he had “never seen the industry so united and we must keep
it that way.” He also said he had spoken with the president of the Private
Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and there was a commitment, through
linkages, to connect all small communities catering to tourism.

In emphasizing the importance of leveraging the link between tourism and
the agriculture sector Mr. Reader said “I am working with some of the culinary
organizations to further development from farm to table, because the farmers
need to know where their products end up finally and the quality they should
produce at.”

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Source: eTurboNews Syndication

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