Published on : Monday, February 27, 2017
Jamaica’s minister of tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said that in order to advance a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the entity and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in December last year, he will meet with Airbnb representatives. Mr. Bartlett said this during his tour of the community of Trench Town in Kingston on February 23.
The agreement seeks to establish a framework for cooperation for boosting and diversifying Jamaica’s tourism product as the government seeks to attract more visitors and improve earnings.
Mr. Bartlett said that the majority of the 1,200 accommodations in Jamaica registered under Airbnb are from Trench Town and other inner-city communities. Other locations include Portmore and on the north coast. To quote Minister Bartlett, “Already, 32,000 visitors came to Jamaica last year via Airbnb…; this level of (diversity) in the way accommodation is offered is broadening the base of ownership within tourism and is enabling a wider entrepreneurship to emerge.”
Mr. Bartlett praised Trench Town tour-operating company Jammin Tours as a valued innovation and significant addition to Jamaica’s tourism product and tourist experience. Nora Blake, Executive Chairperson of Jammin Tours said that any plans to include Kingston as a tourist destination must begin with Trench Town, as it is the birthplace of reggae.
Head of west Kingston Company 360 Recycle Manufacturing, Scheed Cole, noted plans to transform certain spaces within Trench Town to make it more visually attractive. He has already designed a number of sculptures around Trench Town, including one of Bob Marley. Mr. Bartlett would meet with Ms. Blake and Mr. Cole for discussing further development plans for the area.