Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism is planning to set up a new Community Tourism Unit, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said this week.
The new unit aims to “work with communities and hotels to expand participation by community members, while providing authentic experiences for all persons visiting Jamaica,” Bartlett said.
“These communities are at the heart of our tourism product providing the authentic, unique experiences and local lifestyles that provide our visitors with more enriching experiences,” Bartlett said.
The Minister pointed to the success of the country’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Linkages Network, which has helped strengthen the relationship of tourism to other sectors of the island’s economy.
One example of that connection is the annual Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, which Bartlett said is “greatly benefiting coffee farmers and communities in the hills of rural St. Andrew.”
“Community involvement is the cornerstone of sustainable tourism development,” he said.