[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has revealed steps being taken to ‘reset’ the tourism sector. This will ensure it benefits more Jamaicans and fuels greater economic growth. Especially when the sector rebounds from the impact of COVID-19. Mr. Bartlett adds that the Ministry of Tourism has embarked upon a series of consultations with key stakeholders. The goal is to maximize the opportunity to reorganize the local tourism industry.
“I think that this is a good time for Jamaica to reset tourism and become a more inclusive industry. Resulting in the flow-through effect on the economy that tourism has the capacity to provide, is then realized,” said Minister Bartlett.
Steps to Reset Tourism
Mr. Bartlett outlined that the tourism ministry is currently in dialogue with JAMPRO regarding the initiative. And, with his colleague, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Aubyn Hill. Discussions are intended “to look at how we start that whole arrangement. First, is to have an analysis of the supply side and then the demand side.”
In resetting the tourism industry, a determination is needed on what is required to satisfy demand and supply. The next move will be to review the financial and technical markets. Identifying how we acquire that technology and enabling us to create that capability.”
The downturn created by the COVID-19 pandemic had provided the opportunity to give the global tourism industry a new start. Therefore, taking it to a higher level than where it was. Such as a 60 percent occupancy rate for some countries but not Jamaica.
“This is the opportunity for us to do that. I want to continue this debate. In fact I am going to have a paper done on this reset of the tourism industry. We will begin to talk with our partners. As a result, there will be an understanding of what needs to be done in the next six months. This will allow us to try and reposition tourism as a true driver of the economy. And, as a means by which a far greater number of our Jamaican people will realize their true potential,” said Minister Bartlett.
New Tourism Initiative
Mr. Bartlett disclosed the latest tourism initiative, an extensive tour of the 350-year-old Worthy Park Estate. The tour adds to Destination Jamaica’s product offering and has been appealing to both locals and visitors.
Mr. Bartlett described the Worthy Park Rum Tour as “a first class tour.” It covers all aspects of the process that goes into producing some of Jamaica’s finest rums. Which includes both local and export markets. Additionally, the sprawling cane fields spanning 10,000 acres, through distillery and aging.
Minister Bartlett said tours like these were a big part of the tourism product. People come to fulfil their passions. They have passion points relating to all sorts of activities in life. Rums and spirits have been a huge part of the consumption pattern of visitors for many centuries. Consequently, the three most consumed liquids worldwide were water, coffee and rum.
Rum accounts for 65 percent of alcoholic based liquids consumed. “A rum tour with a Jamaican rum experience provides an opportunity for us to tap into that part of the market that is excited by rum consumption,” said Minister Bartlett.
The rum tour had a soft opening prior to the onset of the pandemic. It welcomed over 1,000 tourists, and since reopening in May they’ve been seeing mostly locals. Mr. Bartlett, accompanied by Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Mrs. Carolyn McDonald-Riley, was escorted on the tour by Managing Director and CEO of Worthy Park, Gordon Clarke and members of his team.