Jamaica’s tourism minister on drawing travelers, building hotels

Edmund Bartlett was absent from his position from 2007 to 2011.

Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's former minister of tourism, held the position from 2007 to 2011 before retaking it this year. Back in the cockpit, Bartlett said his main goal during his tenure at the Jamaica Tourist Board will be to attract five million visitors to the country by 2021.

Through Bartlett's efforts, the JTB intends to generate $5 billion in tourism earnings as well as increase total direct jobs to 125,000 and add 15,000 new hotel rooms to Jamaica's inventory. According to Bartlett, this can be achieved through the JTB's "Five Pillars of Tourism Growth," which are: 

  • Tapping into new markets 
  • Developing new products 
  • Promoting investment 
  • Building new partnerships 
  • Developing human capital 

An additional five networks (gastronomy, sports and entertainment, health and wellness, shopping and knowledge) will be used to integrate tourism with Jamaica's wider society. In an address to the country's Parliament, Bartlett said these new pillars and networks "will be enveloped by the need to strengthen and expand linkages with our local agriculture, manufacturing and the service sector and most importantly, encourage us to aggressively push multi-destination tourism as a response to the new global tourism realities, including the gradual rise of Cuba." 

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Survival in these times is highly dependent on a hotel's ability to quickly adapt and pivot their business to meet the current needs of travelers and the surrounding community. Join us for Optimization Part 2 – a FREE virtual event – as we bring together top players in the industry to discuss alternative uses when occupancy is down, ways to boost F&B revenue, how to help your staff adjust to new challenges and more, in a series of panels focused on how you can regain profitability during this crisis.

Bartlett's plan is broken down further at our sister site, Travel Agent Central, where he discusses everything from multi-destination tourism and cruise marketing to sport and entertainment networks and Jamaica's relationship with the LGBT market. 

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