Africa looks to Jamaica for tourism guidance and diplomacy
Jamaica is strengthening its diplomatic relations with African countries, taking tourism to the top of the agenda among key areas for cooperation.
Diplomatic relations between Jamaica and Africa now covers about 19 African states in Southern and Eastern Africa. In its plan to extend and strengthen its relations to African states, the Jamaican government had accredited Madam Angela Veronica Comfort to represent Jamaica in Tanzania.
The Jamaican had presented her credentials to the President of Tanzania, Dr. John Magufuli, this week. She will represent her country in Tanzania through South Africa.
The diplomat is currently working as the Jamaican High Commissioner to South Africa representing Angola, Botswana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Madam Comfort is currently based in Pretoria, South Africa. She took the post about two years ago to represent the Caribbean state of Jamaica in Africa.
Famous for pristine beaches of the Caribbean Sea and rich cultural heritage, Jamaica is almost dominated by African cultures with over 90 percent of the Jamaican population being of African descent.
Jamaica abounds in fine beaches and scenic beauty with strong African heritage portrayed with a wide variety of attractions and entertainment events all the year round, full of numerous recreational opportunities. Tourism accounts for more than 60 percent of Jamaica’s economy.
Former Tanzanian president, Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, had visited Jamaica in 2009 and advised the Tanzanian tourist stakeholders and the government officials to learn from the Caribbean state on how to develop and market beach tourism.
Mr. Kikwete said that Tanzania could learn a lot from Jamaica on beach and heritage tourism development.
The former Tanzanian president said that the Caribbean tourist development can provide a number of interesting and important lessons for Tanzania’s beach tourism in terms of performance, infrastructure, and service provision to the tourists.
Mr. Kikwete had advised Tanzania to borrow a leaf from Jamaica then take a serious initiative to invest heavily on unexplored warm Indian Ocean beaches which stretch from north to south, covering almost 1,400 kilometers of soft sands and nature to attract more tourists.
Unlike J52amaica, Tanzania depends mostly on wildlife as source of its tourism through photographic safaris which cover about 95 percent of the entire tourist industry.
The former president said that local tourism promoters needed to improve product branding and blend wildlife safaris and beach tourism with historical and cultural attractions combined together.
While in Jamaica, Mr. Kikwete visited various natural and man-made tourist attractions at Jamaica’s Ocho Rios tourist hub in St. Ann region and envied achievements registered by the country’s (Jamaica) tourism development.
The former Tanzanian president also met the Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and said he was impressed to learn from Mr. Bartlett the Jamaican experience on best options to develop tourism while retaining the existing natural and man-made attractions that have all made Jamaica among best destinations in North America.
In Tanzania and Africa, Jamaica is mostly known by its reggae music and leading musicians including Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, among others.