Published on : Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The Ministry of Tourism in Jamaica is looking forward to add the annual Accompong Maroon celebration to its annual calendar of events. The reason behind this is to take advantage of the country’s rich cultural heritage for attracting more visitors to the island. Jamaica’s tourism minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the Ministry wishes to work with the Accompong community for developing the experience and market it in the international marketplace.
Bartlett said that his ministry has identified the area of entertainment, culture and sport as one of the pillars for tourism growth and the Accompong celebrations will be framed within this context. To quote Barlett, “We will make Accompong the first destination that we will now put into the calendar of events and … market you alongside the destination when we go abroad to market the experiences in Jamaica. We are satisfied that the authenticity of this experience will enhance Jamaica’s presence in the global community.” He further added, “We have a network that will work with Colonel (Ferron) Williams and his cultural committee to build out this festival and to make it a kind of event, not only for the Maroons but for all visitors.”
According to Minister Bartlett, the UNWTO guesses that heritage and cultural tourism accounts for 40% of the global market. Jamaica was recently ranked by The New York Times newspaper 24th out of 52 worldwide tourist destinations that must be visited, based on the diverse product offerings. Bartlett said that Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage should be held with high respect and consideration. Bartlett said that the Accompong Maroons have a strong, proud and centuries-old history that celebrates a rich African ancestry, and a vibrant community centered around the spirit of family.