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Bartlett commits $300 million to strengthening community tourism

Published:Wednesday | April 17, 2019 | 12:25 AM

Community Tourism islandwide will receive a major boost following the commitment of approximately J$300 million by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

The money will be disbursed to 63 communities across the country to have small events and activities to attract more visitors and increase the potential earnings of small tourism suppliers.

“The building out of more tourism products under our Linkages Network forms part of our overall growth strategy to ­attract more visitors by ­adding value and enhancing their ­experiences. Adding value has become a benchmark in the highly competitive tourism industry, and when you are able to give more, you will have a better value proposition for visitors than your competitors.

These community-tourism projects will provide authentic Jamaican experiences, whether it be food or entertainment, for our visitors and increase earnings for our suppliers,” said Bartlett.

The announcement was made today during the official launch of the M-Academy at the Chinese Benevolent Centre in Kingston. The M-Academy is a Jamaica Social Investment Fund and Main Events partnership that will provide alternative livelihood and skills development. The main objective of the initiative is to provide demand-driven skills in event production to 100 students from seven parishes across Jamaica.

In endorsing the move, Bartlett added, “I am pleased that this initiative will help build the capacity of our young people who will, in turn, be able to earn and meet the demands in the entertainment sector, which is inextricably linked to tourism.

“This means that we will be able to rely more on local ­talent to seamlessly execute mega-­productions such as festivals and conventions which attract ­thousands of people.”

The M-Academy training ­programme will initially certify 100 at-risk youth in various aspects of world-class event management and production skills by one of the leading entertainment companies in the Caribbean.