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HomeLatest ArticlesJamaica: New generation of travellers emerging, says minister Bartlett

Jamaica: New generation of travellers emerging, says minister Bartlett

 

By Garwin Davis

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new generation of travellers who are seeking out destinations regarded as safe, secure, and hassle-free, tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett, said, addressing business interests and tourism stakeholders after touring sections of Montego Bay, St James on March 30, and it is against this background that the government is focusing on destination assurance to safeguard the tourism industry.

“Destination assurance is key to future tourism success. It is a promise to visitors that assures an authentic, safe, and seamless experience, which is respectful to the community and environment,” he pointed out. “This has been a key aspect of our tourism model over the years, and we have adjusted this to better meet the needs of the post-COVID-19 [GEN-C] traveller, who has a vested interest in unique experiences which are safe,” the minister added.

Minister Bartlett further indicated that these new measures have resulted in Jamaica “being globally recognised as providing leadership in tourism COVID-19 management arrangements.”

He said it is imperative that the integrity, quality, and standard of Jamaica’s tourism product are maintained, noting that his Ministry will be placing special focus on reducing instances of visitor harassment and poor solid waste management practices.

Consequently, Bartlett advised that ministry officials will be visiting each resort destination for “the re-socialisation and skills upgrading” of informal operators in the tourism sector, and the formalisation of the activities of persons who are trained and empowered with skills.

“This entire strategic push will be supported by a strong legislative agenda, which will include amending the Tourist Board Act, the Travel Agency Act, and their accompanying Regulations. In this way, the government will modernise the provisions of these Acts, strengthen enforcement provisions, and improve our tourism product,” the minister added.

Bartlett said Jamaica’s unquestionable reputation as a world-class destination with numerous quality offerings enables the country to compete effectively in the global marketplace, adding that satisfied tourists are essential for the longevity and sustainability of a location. He maintained that Jamaica must deliver exceptional experiences and services and provide high value to visitors across all industry sub-sectors, to remain competitive.

“Ultimately, by prioritising the assurance of quality, Jamaica can deliver better tourism products and services, have the enhanced ability to adapt to the evolving needs and desires of its visitors, and increase overall visitor satisfaction, all of which improves its competitiveness and attractiveness as a destination,” the minister further remarked.

Bartlett said coastal towns, like Lucea, are in line for major development, citing new rooms being built at the Grand Palladium, and the Princess Resort.

“A new corridor is now emerging from Point, located a little outside of Lucea… all the way to Salmon Point in Westmoreland. It is going to define some new tourism products. I visited [the] Grand Palladium… where they are doing a 950-room expansion [and will also] put in a convention centre, an area for entertainment and golf, and 650 houses for the workers of the tourism industry,” the minister said.

Bartlett indicated that over the next five years, some 5,000 new rooms will be constructed along that corridor.

“Then there is the continued growth of our villa market. There are more villas emerging and we are seeing them,” he added.

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