Above: Goldeneye in Jamaica
By the Caribbean Journal staff
There is a general ignorance of tourism’s contribution to Jamaica, according to Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, and there is evidence that some people are prepared to position the industry in a way as if to say it is of no real value to the country.
Bartlett said too many, especially at the tertiary education level, view tourism in a negative light, and there is a lack of understanding of the contribution of tourism to Jamaica’s GDP.
Bartlett was speaking at the closing ceremony for a Tourism Product Development Company training seminar in the areas of “Protocol Professional Etiquette” in Montego Bay’s Secrets Resort.
Accordingly, Bartlett said the Ministry of Tourism had commissioned a study to indicate the true contribution of tourism to the economy.
“We are determined that, even in an unfinished state, that data is going to be made available to those who are thinking through this whole process, to ensure that the industry, which is the lifeline of Jamaica, is not destroyed in a process to create fiscal equity across the board,” he said.
Some 185 countries have now embraced tourism as the centrepiece of their economic recovery programmes, he said, including some advanced economies.
Caribbean Journal talked to Bartlett earlier this year in a wide-ranging interview on Jamaican tourism.