Jamaican Diaspora Urged to Market the Tourism sector

LONDON – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has called on Jamaicans in the Diaspora to market the island’s tourism sector.

“You have two jobs now. You have to be our biggest marketers as far as tourism is concerned because we can’t sell Jamaica like you. You also have to be the backbone of the market because we rely on you. You love Jamaica better than anyone else in the wide world .you are our main salespersons,” Mr. Bartlett said.

The Tourism Minister, who is in London for the World Tourism Market (WTM), which begins on Monday (Nov.10), was speaking to Jamaican community leaders at a special meeting held at the Manchester Town Hall on Thursday night (Nov. 6).

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett

He noted that long before many people decide to visit Jamaica, they would have met and interacted with a Jamaican and this interaction could either make them want to engage with or avoid the country.

According to Minister Bartlett, tourism represents the only industry over which Jamaica now has both competitive and comparative advantages, and the sector continues to grow despite challenges to the world economy.

“Last year, we had record arrivals. This year, we are pacing to beat that record despite the world economic conditions and the state of the main originating market for us in the United States. We are pacing to grow at somewhere in the region of four to five per cent by the end of this year,” he informed.

Despite the positive projections for the sector, Mr. Bartlett indicated that measures will be put in place to deal with the changing world economic conditions.

“We have a marketing plan and program, which we are revamping given the new realities. We are going to do some re-carving and restructuring and reconfiguring to deal with this very challenging period we are going to go through,” he stated.

Mr. Bartlett is heading Jamaica’s delegation to the WTM, which also includes Director General in the Ministry, Carrole Guntley.

Mr. Bartlett indicated that he will be having “extensive consultation” with European partners, China and South America, with a view to securing flights to the country, among other things. (JIS)

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