Published on : Saturday, December 8, 2018
Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Honorable Edmund Bartlett said that tourism is but the marketing of culture, as the product that the visitors consume on their visits to destinations, are the cultural assets of the people.
“Harmony of tourism and culture therefore, is essential for the sustainability of the industry, which is now the fastest growing economic activity globally, representing 10% of global GDP, employing 1:11 of the global workforce and 35% of trade in services,” said Mr. Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett further stated that over the past 50 years, tourism has grown fifty fold from 200 million visitors to 1.2 billion and expenditure grew from US$300 billion to US$1.3 trillion in 2017. This growth trend is expected to reach 2 billion by 2030 with earnings of US$2.5 trillion dollars according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Minister Bartlett has warned that the growing tendencies for mass tourism, if not carefully planned and structured, could lead to loss of authenticity and cultural alienation, which would give rise to social tension and even rejection of tourism.
The Minister cited recent incidence in some tourism centers of Europe, where locals became hostile to tourists.
“Consequently, governments and the private sector must collaborate to create a harmony of people and products, by providing the legislative and regulatory framework as well as the financial and marketing arrangements to give space for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Minister Bartlett.