By Garwin Davis
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – Jamaica’s tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, says this is the ideal time for the Caribbean to embrace the concept of multi-destination marketing.
“While the ‘go-it-alone’ approach has long been the accepted model throughout the region, there is now ample evidence to suggest that countries would be better off “by pooling their resources together. Multi-destination marketing is not only a potential game-changer, but is also one that could propel the Caribbean to the top of the food chain in global tourism.
“The tourism industry is highly competitive and demands sustainable and innovative marketing strategies to ensure long term success. Therefore, to this end, it has become increasingly necessary to strengthen co-operation networks between countries, so as to increase and better share the revenues generated by tourism,” the minister said.
Bartlett said that with multi-destination arrangements now in place with Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, Jamaica has “not only taken the lead in this regard,” but “we are making it abundantly clear that boosting our arrival figures remains a top priority.”
He reminded that the multi-destination strategy is one of three legacy outcomes from the November 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference that was held in Montego Bay, which called on Caribbean governments and the private sector to work together to advance regional integration by fostering and harmonising legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, product development, promotion, and human capital.
“The tourism industry is one of the primary vehicles for the social and economic development of countries in the region,” Bartlett said. “There has never been any doubt in my mind that the Caribbean can gain a competitive advantage and thus enhance sustainability if it can package and market its varied attractions more cohesively to entice potential visitors,” he added.
The minister emphasised that multi-destination goes beyond marketing and promotion, adding that it is an approach to tourism development that adds value to the tourism experience while expanding the benefits of the industry to more than one destination.