Bartlett told the Jamaica Information Agency following his recent trip to Qatar, that tourism is in a good place where almost all the critical sectors stand to benefit from the windfall.
“The overseas legacy markets are bubbling,” he said. “All travel partners are reporting growth for the winter and summer next year. The market overall is pacing in double digits for next year,” he added.
The Tourism Minister also reported unprecedented levels of optimism and interest in Jamaica following visits to the United Kingdom (UK); Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Milwaukee in the United States (US); and Toronto, Canada.
“The US, Canada and the UK are reporting upswings in the bookings while cruise is having a huge growth from the repositioning of vessels into Jamaica. Double digit growth in both arrivals and earnings could make this the best year ever for tourism,” he noted.
Meanwhile Mr. Bartlett said the Ministry is committed to strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ones to ensure a collaborative and inclusive approach to tourism development in Jamaica.
He noted that the Tourism Linkages Network was established with a mandate to promote sustainable tourism development in Jamaica by strengthening linkages with other productive sectors of the economy such as agriculture, manufacturing and the creative industries, including entertainment.
The Minister said that the objective, ultimately, is to increase the consumption of local goods and services, creating employment, and generating and retaining more of the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
He noted that the linkages network is made up of public and private sector partners, who oversee the coordination and implementation of effective and sustainable strategies, which strengthen and facilitate connections.
The linkages network is in keeping with the five-pillar growth agenda for tourism, which involves: tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investment, building new partnerships and developing human capital.
Mr. Bartlett said focus is being placed on some key sectors, which will better integrate tourism with the wider society and thereby spread the benefits to all Jamaicans.
These include gastronomy, health and wellness, entertainment and sports, shopping and knowledge.
While in Qatar, Mr. Bartlett met with United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) officials on a planned hurricane relief project for storm-ravaged Caribbean islands.
- Countries: Jamaica