Jamaican tourism announces Gastronomy Ambassador Programme

Published on : Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jamaican tourismAs a significant result of the partnership between the Ministry of Tourism’s Linkages Network and the Culinary Federation of Jamaica for this year’s Taste of Jamaica Culinary Competition and Expo a Gastronomy Ambassador Programme has been announced.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett announced this Saturday (December 2), at the opening ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)-sponsored event at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

Minister Bartlett also announced to the patrons at the TEF Taste of Jamaica that through the Ministry’s Gastronomy Network, the top awardees in three competitive areas would become Jamaica’s first gastronomy ambassadors.

Minister Bartlett stressed that this was very important because training was a major element of the capacity-building exercise in tourism. He also mentioned that at the recently concluded UNWTO conference: “We signed an MOU with the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) to accredit our own chefs and food and beverage managers who we will train at the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation. So, we are preparing you to take up position anywhere in the world that you go.”

To further promote and sell local culinary delights to the world, the Gastronomy Network of the Tourism Linkages Network has also launched its Taste Jamaica Mobile App and Micro-Site, covering the best of Jamaican cuisine, from the pan chicken man on the corner to the top gourmet restaurants.

“In building out the gastronomy prototype and the gastronomy network as key drivers of tourism’s growth in Jamaica, we are tapping into a US$150 billion market and this is an opportunity for us to train, develop and provide resource support to enable our culinary experts to become financially viable,” he opined.

Earlier this year a Blue Mountain Culinary Trail was launched in St Andrew and Minister Bartlett said more would be launched “and with the technology and the app we are going to be allowing visitors, before they come to Jamaica, to be able to purchase culinary experiences in advance.”

Additionally, preparation is now being made for the island’s first Coffee Festival, which will be held over four days in March, next year. JAMPRO is on board with the festival and has been inviting international buyers as Jamaica seeks new markets for the world-famous brand.

Noting that coffee was the second most consumed liquid in the world, Mr. Bartlett said, “We are going to embrace the coffee tourism experience and it build out an important marketing platform to bring more visitors into Jamaica.”

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