Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett, is challenging industry stakeholders to investment more to meet the changing demands of consumers.
Speaking at the 4th annual Tourism Outlook Seminar being held at the Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay, St James, Bartlett charged urged participants to use their deliberations as a springboard to develop strategies to meet the changing demand.
“Tourism has proven its resilience and can be manipulated and managed to drive the process of economic recovery to the creation of real wealth for a nation and its nationals,” he said. “We need to focus on developing, refurbishing, and innovating. Critical to this is the introduction of new technology, new room-stock in order to attain a new look and ensure… that our product and rooms remain fresh and crisp.”
He said that the industry had the potential to create more jobs provided that investment is made to meet the demand of tourists for quality and value.
“Our business models must drive greater efficiencies as we embrace service excellence and focus on investing in the training of our workers and building future capacity. To achieve this, the public and private sectors must collaborate and cooperate to create the fiscal space necessary to enable investment and retooling,” he said.
Bartlett added that there have been major investment projects in cruise-shipping and other areas which have brought jobs and wealth to Jamaica.
“The opening of the Falmouth Cruise Ship Pier, a project of the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), in partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, the recent announcement of the Fiesta Hotel Group’s US$280 million expansion plans are just two examples of Jamaica’s capacity to attract solid investment to its tourism sector. In addition the Fiesta expansion project is expected to generate some 3,000 jobs for Jamaicans. Furthermore both investments will boost the local economies in the surrounding communities in multiple sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, transport and the service industry.”