JAMVAC to be restructured next year
Jamaica Vacations Limited (JAMVAC), an agency of the Ministry of Tourism, is to be reconfigured in 2017 to more efficiently drive air connectivity and bring more routes to the Jamaican tourism sector.
Portfolio Minister Edmund Bartlett said JAMVAC will be instrumental in working with tour operators and airlines to facilitate connectivity.
He pointed out that this is part of an overall move to improve connectivity through a tripartite partnership among the Jamaica tourist product, tour operators and airlines.
Meanwhile, the minister said Jamaica is on track to have connectivity with a new tourist market from China, due to improvements in technology, which will lead to more cost-effective flights between the two countries.
Bartlett added that the Government will also be looking at building out the infrastructure in specific areas across the island to expand the tourism space.
"(This will) create communication connections for areas of the country that are good for tourism, but are not yet connected," he said.
The minister noted that these initiatives fall into an overall growth strategy for the tourism sector that includes the five tenets - new products, new markets, new partnerships, new investments, and the renewal of human capital.
"This year has been seminal for tourism, in that we used the opportunity to create the framework and to set the agenda for 2017 (through to) 2021," Bartlett said.
The Government has set a target of earning US$5 billion, hosting five million visitors, increasing room count to 50,000 and generating direct employment for 125,000 persons in five years.
Bartlett said with investment in hotel rooms already started, the sector is on track to have 10,000 rooms added by 2018. Some 3,500 rooms were added for the current winter season.