Tourism diversification the safest way - Galani
Diversification has already begun in the tourism industry in Ocho Rios.
Owner of the Landmark Plaza in Ocho Rios Dinesh ‘Danny’ Galani says that his investment in the plaza, which opened in 2016, shows a business diversified from a totally tourist-dependent entity. And he is advising investors to follow his approach.
Galani was speaking to The Gleaner following the May 12 publication of the article ‘Resort Town of Ocho Rios Down But Not Out,’ which quoted one commentator as suggesting that it may be time that tourism interests looked at diversifying their investments.
“The idea behind building Landmark was the diversification from the tourism sector, and that’s why we made this elegant and unique restaurant, which was missing in Ocho Rios,” Galani told The Gleaner.
Landmark Plaza consists of several gift shops geared at cruise-ship tourists and the Mainland China restaurant, which specialises in Jamaican, Indian, and Chinese cuisine. The restaurant targets both locals and tourists.
COVID-19 has forced a lockdown of all tourism-related businesses, with hotels, attractions, gift shops, craft markets, and others all closing as the pandemic continues.
The Mainland China, which employs 35 persons, remains open for picking up meals, ensuring at least some income for its owner.
Galani, who has been an entrepreneur for the past 25 years, said diversification is the safest approach when investing in the tourism sector, and the coronavirus pandemic has proven this to be true.
“It it has become apparent from my experience that directing investments towards one sector of the economy is not a dependable business strategy, especially in strenuous circumstances such as this global pandemic. Based on my personal experience at Landmark Plaza, diversification is the safest approach when referring to investment.”
Galani said that during these unprecedented times, the future of Jamaica’s economy is entirely dependent upon the safe recovery of all those affected by COVID-19. He expressed confidence that tourism would rebound.
“As our tourism minister, Mr Edmund Bartlett, has said, his ministry is committed to ‘facilitating the reopening of the tourism industry in a safe and seamless manner in the post COVID-19 world.’ I thank our strong Government for guiding us in building the confidence that tourism will once again flourish in our beautiful country once this pandemic has passed,” Galani stated.