Experts Say Opportunities In Tourism Limitless

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Entrepreneurs with an interest in the tourism industry have been urged not to limit themselves but be open to exploring the limitless opportunities that present themselves for profitable investment.

Tourism Awareness Week

Three experts in tourism promotion laid out a slate of new ideas that could be adopted. They spoke at a recent Tourism Opportunities Visionary Symposium. The Symposium was hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) at the Half Moon Hotel, Montego Bay, and online as part of the Ministry of Tourism’s annual Tourism Awareness Week activities.

Expert Panel

Award-winning American travel writer, world travel expert and travel trends futurist, Doug Lansky; globetrotter and travel influencer Scott Eddy and President of the Caribbean Maritime University, Professor Andrew Spencer outlined that tourism today is open to innovation and the economic potential of a range of non-traditional attractions.

Rethinking Tourism

With the theme for Tourism Awareness Week being “Rethinking Tourism,” Lansky said, “When we start rethinking tourism it means that we need to redefine what success means.” He also stressed the importance of destination management and assurance in delivering what is promised.

Lansky advised, however, that “We need to think long term; if you’re a property, a stakeholder, you need to think beyond what’s the trend that’s going to be over in another three or four months. You need to think big picture.”

Jamaica Tourism Doug Lansky, Christopher Burke, Scott Eddy
Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Marketing Executive Christopher Burke (centre) presents tokens of appreciation to two of the travel experts who presented at the Tourism Opportunities Visionary Symposium, Doug Lansky (L) and Scott Eddy (R).

Tourism Adaption Post-Pandemic

Professor Spencer, a former Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), posited that “the future of Caribbean tourism will be dependent on how successfully the Caribbean region can adapt post-pandemic,” adding, “the region will either exploit the opportunities within the chaos or perish.”

He argued that for a successful re-emergence of the tourism industry there needs to be continuation of growth but this will require efforts of amalgamation by stakeholders in areas such as tourism operations and crisis and product management, among others.

Given the dynamic nature of travel trends, Professor Spencer noted that in the midst of the pandemic travellers shifted their desires to suit conditions and current trends, with potential influence on the Jamaican tourism landscape, including: the health and safety-conscious traveller, the experienced/immersive traveller, the nomadic lifestyle, the domestic traveller and the tech-savvy traveller.

Priority Areas

In the process of rethinking tourism, Professor Spencer highlighted four areas that should be considered priority.

  • First: health and safety should be at the core of destination marketing and tourism operations;
  • Second: diversification of tourism products and carving out new niche markets should be a priority for sustainable tourism in Jamaica post-pandemic.
  • Third: the creation of crisis management policies and frameworks for resilience in uncertainty while adapting to a digital mindset and investment towards advanced technologies; and
  • Fourth: greater encouragement for inclusivity, sustainability, and collaboration at the multinational and regional level for economic recovery by way of tourism linkages

Maximizing Social Media

According to Eddy, today’s tourism operations should invest heavily into maximizing the use of social media. He also expressed the view that the days of large hotel chains were coming to an end and “eventually, they will be replaced by hotels that are not only aesthetically pleasing, unique and authentic, but that also consider the next generation guests.”


South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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