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Cuba will present new tourism opportunities for Jamaica, Caribbean - Bartlett

Published:Sunday | April 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's tourism minister says heightened interest in Cuba will bring opportunities for Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

Addressing the newly appointed directors of the boards of key agencies of the tourism ministry on the weekend at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James, Edmund Bartlett notes that Cuba is strategically positioned to help in the growth of tourism in the Caribbean and that it will be beneficial for Jamaica.

The interest in Cuba, he says, should play a key role in enabling the region to secure better airlift arrangements with airlines and facilitate multi-destination marketing in the region.

In addition, Bartlett says Government will be tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investment, building new partnerships and renewing human capital to improve the industry.

He says the Government hopes to earn more than US$3 billion from the US$7.2 trillion global tourism market. The tourism minister says the US and Canada markets will be aggressively targeted to grow market share.

Bartlett says although foreign direct investment will be pursued to establish large hotels, the tourism ministry will also be focusing heavily on convincing Jamaicans to invest in the industry.

He says this could be achieved by providing services, developing attractions and transforming small hotels and private homes to meet the needs of special needs travellers and other groups.