Fri | Sep 18, 2020

Promote local tourism in Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | July 28, 2020 | 12:19 AM


Over the developmental period of Jamaica as a strong brand in the tourism market, there has been a constant complaint that only foreign tourists get the opportunity to experience the most beautiful parts of our island while locals may not get to have the same experiences.

It is no surprise that this new effort to reach out to locals is due to the recent shutdown of the tourism industry. Many stakeholders have had losses, and they see the local market as a means of mitigation. However, as locals, we cannot afford to lose this opportunity to enjoy our island and contribute not only to the industry but help to jump-start the economy.

On the other hand, the industry must continue this effort beyond the recovery period and create cost-effective packages that will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy the best our island has to offer. I am confident that this can be done during the slow period as this will maintain the profits of the stakeholders who have expressed their need to recoup their investment and make a profit. Creating a sustainable framework within the industry that will facilitate the inclusion of locals would be welcome, too.

With COVID-19 destabilising the industry and creating uncertainties, Jamaicans who vacation in the United States or Europe can now go to many of our tourist destinations. Encouraging locals to experience the rich culture will generate lasting interest, which will motivate Jamaicans to continue to plan vacations at home.