Fri | May 26, 2017

Reggae Sumfest continues to boost economy

Published:Monday | June 29, 2015 | 6:43 AM

Pages 4&5

With a fledgling economy, business interests in western Jamaica, are looking forward to this years staging of Jamaica's premier national festival, Reggae Sumfest, with anticipation that it will provide a much-needed boost. The event is a major revenue generator for Jamaica and has contributed significantly to the economy since its inception in 1993. Apart from being integral to Jamaica's tourism landscape, attracting visitors from all across the world, the event has continuously provided a major boost to the local economy in the west, particularly, Montego Bay.
Reggae Sumfest attracts audiences from all across the globe and has solidified its reputation and position as the best reggae festival in the world. Summerfest Productions, the creators of the festival, invests over $100 million to stage the world-class event. According to Robert Russell, chairman of Summerfest Productions "Each year our costs go up and as such our expenditure on the festival increases. Through sponsorship we are able to offset some of these costs, but the bulk of it, we bear."
"The benefits to the economy and to the sponsors are tremendous. This event has always been about showcasing Jamaican talent and putting brand Jamaica on show. We attract many tourists to our shores during this time, this benefits the airline industry, hotel, restaurants, taxi and transport companies, vendors and many other business interests," Russell added.
The investment made by organisers of the festival translates into hundreds of jobs, new business opportunities and several other economic and social spin offs. This, in turn, leads to greater economic benefits for the country, as a whole.
For this years' staging big name acts like Jennifer Hudson, Common and Yazz the Greatest from 'Empire' fame, have already been confirmed. The event is shaping up to be a great show with the organisers promising a revamped production.