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Great potential for Jamaica in gastronomy tourism – Bartlett

Published:Friday | July 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Participating in the cutting of the ribbon to formally open Spiritz of Hanover (SOH) are (from left) Sydjea Anderson, sister of Prime Minister Andrew Holness; Jeffrey Smith, proprietor of SOH; Juliet Holness, member of parliament; and Dr Karren Dunkley, co-owner of SOH. In the background is Narada Fearon of the SOH creative team.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett recently welcomed Spiritz of Hanover, another addition to the gourmet food offerings in western Jamaica, even as he expressed confidence in the country's potential to become a major destination for gastronomy tourism, a US$150 billion industry worldwide.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Member of Parliament Juliet Holness at the recent launch of the gourmet restaurant, Bartlett said that his ministry was taking strategic steps to strengthen Jamaica's competitiveness in gastronomy tourism as the country repositions and diversifies the tourism product to generate higher growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings.

"Food is an important part of tourism, as more and more people are travelling to experience the 'food culture' of other destinations, whether it is local restaurants and bars, farms and markets or vineyards and breweries. Jamaica is no exception to this," the minister noted.

He added that, "Here, at home, our outstanding food experiences are among the top-three reasons why persons visit Jamaica. Everyday, many tourists are driven to travel to Jamaica to taste our rich cultural dishes and delicacies."


Gastronomy Network


According to the minister, The Gastronomy Network, which falls under the aegis of the ministry's Tourism Linkages Network, has put in place a framework to develop Jamaica's gastronomy offerings to develop initiatives to strengthen competitiveness in this sub-sector.

In welcoming the addition of Spiritz of Hanover to the gastronomy tourism product in western Jamaica, Bartlett said the Gastronomy Network is mapping a comprehensive list of restaurants, food festivals, food tours and other culinary information, which will allow visitors to easily locate and get information on the island's best culinary experiences.

Spiritz of Hanover is the first step toward the vision of owners Jeffrey Smith and Dr Karren Dunkley to create a reggae village in Hopewell, which will showcase Hanover's history, create jobs and boost tourism.