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." 

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.