Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says global tourism has taken on an extraordinary new lease on life, where almost everything is now done outside of what was once considered the norm.
According to Mr. Bartlett, tourism processes, tools, structures, systems and actors are no longer the same, and to the point where the industry is now being “reimagined”.
“It is being radically reviewed, reorganised and remade. I dare say that Jamaica too has played her part in this tourism reimagined exercise, through our engagements with global partners,” the Minister told JIS News in an interview.
Mr. Bartlett said that in reimagining a destination, “we have to look at areas such as strengthening linkages, promulgating human capital development, piloting the largest wave of product expansion, and also enhancing the use of technology and the Internet”.
He added that it also includes effecting a more comprehensive destination assurance programme, improved private- and public-sector stakeholder collaboration, and incorporating innovation in the mix.
Mr. Bartlett further informed that tourism has become such a mega global industry that the annual number of tourists crossing international borders was estimated at 1.4 billion in 2018, generating US$1.3 trillion.
He said that the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) global tourism data indicate that travel and tourism represented 10.4 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), creating one in 10 jobs, which is 10 per cent of global employment amounting to 319 million jobs.
“Caribbean destinations welcomed 29.9 million international visitors in 2018. This represents the second highest number of visitors to the Caribbean on record, surpassed only by the 30.6 million who visited in 2017. In fact, one in five of workers in the Caribbean is employed to the tourism sector, contributing 40 per cent of the region’s GDP,” the Minister noted.
Source: JIS News