Buying local spreads economic benefits - Hotelier
Hotelier Adam Stewart has remained undaunted by complaints about the inconsistency of quality and quantity of locally produced goods by some Jamaicans.
"I think it's an honest statement, but where there is a will, there is a way," said Stewart, who is chairman of the Tourism Linkages Network. "Buying from Miami because it is easier cannot be the solution. That cannot be the future of Jamaica," he told The Gleaner at the launch of Christmas in July at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, yesterday.
To this end, Stewart appealed to Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw to become an agent of change to prepare Jamaica to catch up with new and emerging demands of the global hospitality trade.
"One of the other things, Minister, that I think is misunderstood, maybe misunderstood in society, maybe misunderstood somewhat in this room, is that the global tourism marketplace has radically changed. The level of investors and the barriers to entry to building a company that can compete in the global hospitality sector have completely changed," argued Stewart.
He continued: "The reality of tourism in Jamaica is that we will have the small hotels down in Negril owned by a family with 10, 20, 30 rooms, but to build a hotel with 400-500 bedrooms with a brand that can compete against all the competition is highly improbably and unlikely as we go forward. So over the next 10 years, sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, craft, transportation, and entertainment are going to be the real horsepower of growth."