Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says shopping tourism has been getting much traction worldwide, and Jamaica is in a unique position to capitalise.
Addressing stakeholders at the Shoppes at Rose Hall in St. James on December 13, Mr. Bartlett said that shopping is also a major value-added market where nearly 60 per cent of visitors travel all over the world to shop.
“Shopping tourism significantly affects economic development in travel destinations across the world. In fact, a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Affiliate Members Group says it has emerged as a primary motivator for travel, with key indicators linking the prominence of retail with the performance of tourism, to the extent that tourism boards have begun to build campaigns promoting their cities as prime shopping destinations,” the Minister noted.
He said that Jamaica, too, has also recognised the significant impact shopping tourism has on the local economy, adding that it is imperative that the island take full advantage of the available opportunities.
“We are aware that it offers considerable potential to enhance our country’s tourism product, increase foreign exchange earnings, support the growth of local manufacturing and retail sectors and generate income and employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs and hundreds of ordinary Jamaicans,” the Minister added.
“With this in mind, we are seeking to position Jamaica as a shopping destination in the Caribbean, by forging partnerships with other Government agencies and private-sector interests,” he noted.
Mr. Bartlett said that the Chinese are famous shoppers who travel in droves to quell their passion for buying goods.
“I am told that by 2020, nearly 300 million Chinese will be travelling all over the world. We just want to get .01 per cent of that to come to Jamaica. We have to prepare for that possibility, and shopping is a big item,” he said.
Source: JIS News