Bartlett pushing for tourism innovation city

Bartlett pushing for tourism innovation city

Monday, October 22, 2018

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has started plans to create a tourism innovation city in Montego Bay, the purpose of which is to develop areas of textile, manufacturing and farming, among others, to boost the city’s capacity to provide on the supply side of the tourism value chain.

Speaking at the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Business and Investment forum held at the SeaGarden Beach resort on Friday last, Minister Bartlett said building out a tourism economy in Montego Bay will mean reduced tourism costs and increased revenues from consumption.

“If Jamaica is to earn more of the foreign exchange brought in by visitors, we must be able to reduce importation of the inputs needed for the sector and increase our ability to supply on the demand. The Tourism Innovation City will create a circular economy where nothing is wasted and everything is utilised fully, and the resources, income and earnings stay within that space,” he said.

“When we are finished building out Grange Pen and Barrett Hall, this will be a fertile area for this great experiment; and I am in discussion with the Urban Development Corporation who are to do a design for this innovation city,” Bartlett added.

He used the Dominican Republic as an example of the touted circular tourism economy where, he said the revenue retention is US$0.50 on each dollar of foreign exchange earned.

“This is so because they own the supply side; they manufacture uniforms for the sector and have processing plants to make the chutneys and jams needed by the guests. This is where a tourism innovation city in Jamaica would help to produce more of the items needed in the sector,” the tourism minister said Friday.

The city of Montego Bay represents one third of Jamaica’s room stock and is considered the hub of tourism activities in the island. As part of efforts to improve the look and feel of the product, the Ministry of Tourism, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has so far invested $6 billion in Montego Bay and its environs. The work carried out by the TEF includes road rehabilitation, drain cleaning and housing solutions.

The Business & Investment Forum is designed for investors and business executives who want to discover the business opportunities available in St James. The forum also showcases various developments within the primary growth sectors, while sharing a wealth of information about emerging opportunities in the Montego Bay and the western region.

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