Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Tourist attractions poised to benefit from UNWTO exposure

Published:Tuesday | November 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett
John Byles
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Jamaica's tourism continues to benefit tremendously from its world-class attractions, which should be a major focal point at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference from November 27-29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, according to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

Bartlett points to the billions of dollars which have been recently pumped into either upgrading or the building of new attractions, adding that "they should all be reaping the dividends very soon.

"I have been preaching religiously since 2007 about the need to have quality attractions for the inevitable growth within the sector and, obviously, our stakeholders and partners have been responding," the minister noted.

"J. Wray & Nephew and its parent company Gruppo Campari have spent some $1 billion to renovate its Appleton Estate Rum Experience in St Elizabeth and that will be a major hit on the south coast."

Bartlett further noted that he is happy the opening will coincide with the UNWTO conference, adding "it will be a major hit and an attraction that we can all be proud of".

The tourism minister also points to Chukka Caribbean Adventure Tours' $US4-million investment in Good Hope, Trelawny, as another of the attractions that has significantly improved the tourism product.

"And, of course, we also have the world-famous Dunn's River, Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountain, and the Bob Marley Nine Miles Tour, which are all in St Ann," he added.

"I am, however, pleased with how our local investors in western Jamaica and surrounding areas have answered the call, to the point where it's safe to say that we now have the biggest and best attractions here in Jamaica."

... Jamaica's tourism is on the right track - Byles

John Byles, chief executive officer of Chukka Caribbean Adventure Tours, said his company's investment in the Good Hope facility in Trelawny is a testament "in our belief that tourism is on the right track.

"We will be delighted to showcase what we believe is the best attraction in the Caribbean to our UNWTO friends and partners," he noted. "We know the eyes of the world will be on Jamaica and we intend to do our part in promoting our Chukka brand in the best way we know how."

From November 27-29, Jamaica's tourism attractions will be a major focal point at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Global Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

Some 157 countries, including over 150 tourism ministers and government officials worldwide, are expected to attend.

In the meantime, general manager for the Appleton Estate Rum Experience, O'Shane Ellis, said the fact that his tour will reopen in mid-November and in time for the conference will also be a major plus.

"Ours will be a one-of-a-kind experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world," Ellis explained. "There will be an obvious wow factor that will be breathtaking, and I am sure the reviews will be great."