KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett says passengers onboard the Norwegian Bliss, which is set to dock in Ocho Rios on Friday, January 10 will all receive a cup of Jamaica Blue Mountain (JBM) Coffee on arrival.
The gesture marks the start of a new initiative, by the Tourism Ministry and key stakeholders, to have JBM offered to all cruise passengers disembarking at Jamaica’s main ports.
It is being organized to help increase brand awareness and sale of locally grown premium coffee to international markets.
“Tomorrow when the Norwegian Bliss arrives in Ocho Rios we will begin the programme I announced last year of having coffee tastings at the cruise ports, when cruise ships arrive in Jamaica. So 4,000 cruisers and 1,700 crew members will arrive tomorrow and they will all get a cup of our Jamaican Coffee,” said Minister.
The Minister made this announcement earlier today, during the launch of the third staging of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
He shared that the new marketing initiative for coffee would also include having the product featured at all international events that the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board will participate in this year.
“We are going to be inserting the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee in the marketing arrangements for upcoming trade shows. In fact, we actually used it recently at our display in Japan. Now we are going to Berlin in March, for ITB, and we are going to establish there, the start of our coffee tasting arrangements, which will now be a feature of all our tourism exhibitions at trade shows across the world,” said Minister Bartlett.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival
As the Ministry seeks to target new markets to visit the island, the Tourism Minister added that the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival would be a key part of their promotion for March arrivals.
“This festival is not just an event, it is a product. After two years, we have been able to learn a lot, hone our skills in putting this arrangement together and to package it. Now we are at a position where we can create this product, which can be inserted in the market and be tied into marketing packages that we will be selling to our visitors,” he said.
The Minister said that initiatives like the coffee festival builds sustainability in the tourism sector by integrating events, businesses and communities in a way that creates jobs, builds local economies and spreads tourism’s benefits beyond the traditional resort areas.
“In celebrating coffee, we are also seeing it as a huge driver of economic well being. Not only is it a commodity for export and for trading in general, not only is it a means of income for a large number of small and large farmers, but it is also a catalyst that enables a number of other economic activities to happen and a wider range of employment for a number of other people,” he said.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival is a three-day signature event led by the Tourism Linkages Network and other key partners. It includes a Farmers Trade Day, Marketplace Day and the Jamaica Blue Mountain Culinary Trail Brunch.
Last year’s Marketplace Day was a sold-out event with over 1200 patrons. It included some 50 Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) – such as purveyors of coffee-infused spa products like soaps, body scrubs and butters as well as producers of delicious coffee-infused foods from chicken to sweet treats.
This year’s event will take place from March 20 – 22, in Newcastle, St. Andrew.