Resort Areas – Photo: PM Hon. Andrew Holness, Center (4th left) Breaking Ground in for housing in Negril.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says work being carried out in the resort areas is being done on behalf of the people, and not solely in the name of tourism.
“When we develop ourselves and when we develop our communities we provide the avenue for visitor appreciation and guest satisfaction. We are not upgrading the resort areas for tourists alone. We are building it for Jamaica, after which we will invite our visitors to come and enjoy it,” the Minister said.
He was addressing a Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) press conference at the Half Moon Hotel, Montego Bay, recently.
Mr Bartlett, who also toured a number of attractions and the island’s three main cruise shipping ports of Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Montego Bay with key members of the FCCA, said Jamaica’s most iconic asset remains its people, “something we should never lose sight of.”
“The tourism industry is for the people and has been built by the people. To achieve the growth and kind of numbers we want to achieve, we have to ensure that our people buy into what we are doing, where they see themselves as important stakeholders who will have a voice in the decisions we are making,” he said.
Mr Bartlett emphasized that he wants to dispel the myth that only a selected few benefit from the industry.
“This is a very inclusive sector and every single decision that I make is done with the interest of the Jamaican people…the interest of the so-called small man. There is nothing of significance that can happen in tourism without first taking into consideration the effect it will have on the Jamaican people,” he said.
Mr Bartlett added that tourism is the one sector that consistently demonstrates a level of profitability and dependability, and is easily one of the biggest employers of persons in the country, “with a lot of trickle-down benefits.”
“Our FCCA friends have made it clear that we continue to enjoy their full support and confidence as long as we make their guests feel safe and comfortable,” he said.
“It is imperative that we continue to keep our eyes on the prize, ensuring that the cruise ships keep coming and where Jamaica can take its rightful place as the number one destination in the Caribbean,” the Minister added.
Members of the FCCA were in the island on a three-day visit as part of a fact-finding mission.