Jamaican tourism minister optimistic of sector’s growth

Published on : Monday, April 10, 2017

jamaican-tourism-ministerJamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett welcomed heightened optimism about the industry’s growth prospects and its potential to contribute significantly to boosting the economy. The minister’s position comes against the background of an anticipated higher number of visitor arrivals this year.

At a recent meeting in Montego Bay several business interests and stakeholders hailed tourism as a significant bedrock of Jamaica’s economy and gave an undertaking to further boosting the sector.

The minister’s sentiments were endorsed by others such as Chukka Caribbean Adventure’s Director of Group Revenue and New Development, Marc Melville, who declared that “the climate for investment has never been better.”

“We wouldn’t have over US$4 million (invested) in Good Hope, Trelawny, if we weren’t convinced that tourism is indeed on the right track. The ships are coming like we have never seen them before and the people are coming off to enjoy the tours,” he stated.

“Here at Good Hope, we believe we are on to something special and will continue to play our part in building on our product,” he added

For his part, Senior Director of Dolphin Cove Stafford Burrowes said a significant percentage of his company’s business was derived from cruise shipping, adding that the numbers have been very encouraging.

“Jamaica is indeed uniquely poised to becoming a major force in both cruise shipping and stopover arrivals. We have seen on many days where there are multiple ships at the island’s ports and where the streets of the resort towns are starting to come alive,” he noted.

Meanwhile, owner of the Wata Land Eco Water Park, Gobind Dansinghani, said since opening the attraction nearly two years ago, he has invested an additional US$1 million in the property.

“We have had some phenomenal success with the local crowd which made us realize that the potential is there to attract overseas visitors. We are of the view that Jamaica’s tourism future has never been brighter and we believe the attractions will have a big say, going forward. We are putting in the investment now so we can reap later,” he said.

Owner of the Royal Shop chain of duty-free stores, Ravi Daswani, said it was clear that the hotels were seeing the traffic and the ships have been docking in notable numbers at the three main cruise ports of Ocho Rios, Falmouth and Montego Bay.

“Five years ago, I would have said that this notion is farfetched, if not impossible. Today, it is looking more and more like a real possibility,” Mr Daswani pointed out.


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