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Published on : Thursday, July 27, 2017
The Tourism Ministry of Jamaica plans to market Jamaica as a hub of Gastronomic Tourism worldwide. The rich, authentic and tantalizing tastes of Jamaican foods and wines are well-known to food connoisseurs, and hence, it would be showcased via gastronomic tourism.
The Ministry’s first step towards that would be the establishment of a number of Gastronomic Centres across the island, with Devon House, in Kingston, as the first. For the heritage site, the Ministry plans to improve upon its environs by providing a space where visitors can come and cook their own meals.
To quote Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett, “We’ll be establishing a kitchen. We’re inviting the world to come and cook at Devon House. Families can come; no chef will be in the kitchen, you are the chef.”
As part of the culinary experience, a fully stocked farmers’ market will be established where visitors can purchase spices and condiments for cooking meals at Devon House.
According to the 2012 UNWTO report, 88.2 per cent of people “consider that gastronomy is a strategic element defining the brand and image of their destination.”
Head of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, says focus is being placed on gastronomic tourism in order to tap into the 88.2 per cent of persons travelling to destinations.
Riley said, “If food is the dominant reason why people are travelling, then we should be marketing our foods, and what we do with food, this is one of the driving factors.”
She said that gastronomic tourism has been identified as a medium for diversifying the tourism product and “we think it will strengthen our competitive advantage”. She stressed that this advantage over other countries is mainly due to the variety of fruits and foods which are not found in other places except Jamaica.
Around the world, several countries, such as Italy, Spain, Brazil, Korea, Egypt and Azerbaijan, have marketed their territories successfully for gastronomic tourism.