The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts to develop a Craft Development Institute (CDI) in St. Ann’s Bay.
The signing, which took place during the press launch of the expanded Spruce Up Jamaica program, is significant as the institute will be the first of its kind in the country.
The MOU outlines in detail, the role the entities will play in the development and management of the craft institute. TPDCo will play a major role in the project as they will execute the development of the CDI, as well as all the activities directly related to the Spruce Up Jamaica programme on a day-to-day basis.
Spruce Up Jamaica is the Ministry of Tourism’s flagship umbrella programme which encapsulates various initiatives primarily geared at changing attitudes and creating integration among industries and programmes that impact the tourism sector. The programme has been revamped to better deliver on the mandate of the Ministry to make tourism a much more inclusive sector and ensuring its sustainable development.
Speaking at the press launch, Minister Bartlett shared that “the Craft Development Institute is a major initiative under the Spruce Up Jamaica programme and it will aid in the Ministry’s agenda of creating an effective governance, operational, technical and infrastructural framework that will strengthen the craft sector and facilitate production, sales, promotion and marketing of craft locally and internationally.”
The CDI is also aimed at providing training and certification to current craft producers, supporting the development of authentic Jamaican craft and protecting new designs. The institute is scheduled to welcome the first students in the September 2018.
In expressing gratitude to the Ministry for this new partnership, Principal of the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts Dr. Nicholeen DeGrasse-Johnson shared that the partnership was an important facilitator of nation building through the arts.
“As an institution we are always taking care of business – both of development and nation-building. We are doing what we must to be a part of this major plan, not only to Spruce Up Jamaica but to ‘big up’ Jamaica in terms of what we do for tourism, education, culture and who we are as a people. The arts are the centre of the pulse of human nature and without the arts we don’t survive,” she said.
The Minister also used the opportunity to formally announce locally, the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and the important role Jamaica will play in this global initiative.
Last week Monday, while in Spain, Minister Bartlett signed an agreement at the Palacio Neptuno for Jamaica to host a conference to commemorate the year. The event, which is a collaborative effort between the Government of Jamaica, international development firm Chemonics International and the UNWTO, will be staged from November 27 to 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.
“Jamaica is in full support of the year’s focus and we will be hosting various events around the theme of Sustainable Tourism, including the UNWTO flagship event for the year. We look forward to showcasing our destination but more so within the context of sustainability and the building of public-private-partnerships,” Minister Bartlett said.