‘More than sand, sea and hotels’
New docu series to highlight Kingston Creative’s impact on Jamaican tourism to viewers across the world
Camille Barrett, a Television Jamaica (TVJ) producer, hopes to see tourism arrivals and spending figures keep climbing, with more Jamaicans benefiting in the long run.
In April, her manager, Judith Alberga, introduced her to the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) and the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Media Saving Lives Initiative Phase 3, which had a primary focus on sustainable tourism in docu series format. Barrett immediately visualised how, through the initiative, she could assist in bringing more eyes to Jamaica’s sustainable tourism habits.
Her vision was to highlight through video how artists connected to non-profit arts organisation Kingston Creative have revived dead walls in downtown Kingston with beautiful artwork for which tourists such as American actress Kerry Washington have shown high levels of appreciation.
Barrett also wanted to show how the people living and operating in downtown Kingston, near the walls, have benefited economically.
Given that she was introduced to the Global Media Saving Lives Initiative mere weeks before producers and their entries would have been shortlisted and selected for the May 6 and May 8 meet-up in Malé, Maldives, Barrett got to work immediately.
“I shot it within two weeks, and by the end of the two weeks, I was off to the Maldives to present what I shot,” Barrett told The Gleaner, which, along with TVJ, is a member of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.
She also did a feature on Kingston Creative as part of the RJRGLEANER Cross Country Invasion in 2021, which made it even easier for her to make connections for interviews.
“This project, for the Kingston Creatives, they transformed neglected buildings and neglected walls and transformed them into art spaces, and it attracts persons from across the world and also local, and then the persons in the local businesses there are able to benefit,” Barrett told The Gleaner on Sunday in seeking to explain why she chose the area for her focus, recording, and submission.
“It’s a sustainable-tourism practice. With this platform and this initiative, it’s a great way to showcase Jamaica to a broader audience, where it’s more than sea, sand, and hotels, but you have spaces in the urban setting that can attract tourists to the spaces, and the downtown Kingston art district is a prime example of that, and they do it in a sustainable way, and sustainable tourism is something that you want, where future generations will be able to be positively impacted by it,” she said.
Weeks later, her project was selected along with producers from the 12 other countries: Tanzania, Nepal, Rwanda, Buton Island, Boracay, Indonesia, Nepal with two entries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Bangladesh, and she was off to Maldives for the May 6-8 events.
Barrett said she was excited when she was notified that she had been selected to go to the Maldives.
“When I saw the email saying that my own was selected, I was beyond excited to know that my project is being selected to represent the Caribbean and to travel to be a part of this major production, getting to work alongside other producers, getting to meet other producers from different countries and just being a part of the project,” Barrett told The Gleaner.
She also attended the Global South Co-Production on Sustainable Tourism - Rough Cut Screening and Editing Meeting and the seventh Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) two-days Media Summit on Climate.
During the meetings, Barrett represented the Caribbean Broadcasting Union.
PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
Barrett said the project is a collaboration between members of the WBU and the UN that is aimed at promoting the message of sustainable tourism through the videos produced. Barrett and the other 12 producers from other parts of the world will see the docu series showcasing sustainable tourism and how it is done in their countries.
Each producer was asked to create a 10-minute documentary from his or her country that will air on the stations, where they are aired as a standalone or as part of the collection from the group.
Barrett has packaged a four-part docu series titled Tourism Tomorrow, utilising the 13 video submissions for the Global Media Saving Lives Initiative, which will premiere on TVJ at 6:00 p.m. on World Tourism Day, which is globally recognised on September 27.
Tourism Tomorrow will be a collection of short documentaries on sustainable tourism and its important role in disaster risk reduction.
Over its four weeks of airing, the series of 30-minute episodes will highlight what some of the other countries are doing for sustainable tourism in their parts of the world.
For the Jamaican segment showcasing the work of Kingston Creative, viewers worldwide will see and hear the reactions of persons operating in the art district, especially the vendors.