Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says $300 million has been budgeted to boost community tourism activities across the island.
Speaking at the official launch of M-Academy at the Chinese Benevolent Association, Old Hope Road in St. Andrew on April 11, Mr. Bartlett said the money will be spent in 63 communities across the country to have small events and activities to attract more visitors, and increase the earnings of small tourism suppliers.
“Once you create that capacity within the communities to be able to convert knowledge into material things and events, you are going to invite tourism into the community, and that’s what I’m about.
It’s about increasing growth and increasing development, so tourism is not about the coastline but the experiences are in the communities, and so we want to build out that capacity,” he said.
The Minister further added that the building out of more tourism activities is critical and will redound to the continued development of the industry.
“We are going to work with the Tourism Linkages Network, because we have budgets to deal with that… to help to build capacity within communities,” he said.
The primary objective of the Tourism Linkages Network is to increase the consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced locally. It also aims to create employment while generating and retaining the country’s foreign exchange earning potential.
In the meantime, the Minister lauded the creation of the M-Academy, adding that “it seeks to build out another tier of skill sets which is so important in broadening the capacity of Jamaicans.”
M-Academy is a Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and Main Event Entertainment Group partnership. The main objective of the initiative is to train persons in various aspects of event production.
The programme will last for six months with the trainees drawn from the 18 communities targeted by JSIF. Training for the first cohort of approximately 100 persons is slated to commence in May.
Source: JIS News