Jamaica News: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Government is looking to build-out the tourism product in non-traditional areas across the island as it looks to fully maximize the country’s tourism potential.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News on July 4, Mr. Bartlett said that the objective is to create “mini-destinations” that can attract large numbers of visitors.
“While it is commonplace to associate tourism with the island’s six official resort areas (Kingston, Montego Bay, the South Coast, Ocho Rios, Negril and Port Antonio) there are now some non-traditional areas that have started to get a look in,” he noted.
“I am telling you that there are a number of places that we are looking at and which are just loaded with potential,” he added.
The Minister cited Clarendon as a parish that is “just waiting to be unleashed” and could be marketed as an ecologically-friendly tourist hotspot.
He said that attractions such as Salt River, the Salt River Mineral Spring and Jackson Bay Beach have been earmarked for development.
“I toured sections of the parish on Wednesday (July 3) and was very impressed with the potential of a number of attractions and the pull factor they would become as it relates to visitor arrivals,” he told JIS News.
Areas of St. Thomas and Hanover capital, Lucea, are also being targeted as part of the thrust.
Minister Bartlett said that the mini-destination concept will ensure greater inclusiveness where more Jamaicans can get involved in the tourism sector.
“We are also looking at how best our local communities can benefit and how we can get more of our locals involved. For tourism to maximize its full potential it has to be inclusive and it has to have all hands on deck,” he pointed out.
He said it will also offer greater variety in the country’s tourism offerings, and give visitors the chance to see more of Jamaica and “its iconic people.”
“When we talk about reimagining, we are talking about thinking outside the box; we are talking about being creative and also to be confident in the knowledge that the more diverse the product is the more you stay ahead of the competition,” he noted.
Source: JIS News