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Tourism growth could spur investment in new int’l airport

Published:Monday | November 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer


Jamaica will need a new international airport to meet the exponential growth and expansion of the tourism industry by 2030, according to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

He said that over the 10-year period 2020-2030, the country is expected to welcome six million visitors. This will provide employment opportunities for 40,000 additional workers and that will drive investors to do more in order to capitalise on their investments, the tourism minister noted.

“It is going to require a better road [network] system. It’s going to require expansion, indeed, perhaps the building of a new airport in Jamaica,” Bartlett said at the fifth staging of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group’s Hospitality Jamaica Awards, held last Friday at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

“It’s going to require new ambition in terms of all, in building out the carrying capacity that is required to make sure that sustainability is a key part of our process. It’s going to require investment in more attractions. It’s going to require the scaling up of existing attractions,” he said.

Intense training

Bartlett, who received the RJRGLEANER Hospitality Jamaica Pioneer Award, said that the industry would require some 40,000 new workers to meet the demands of visitor arrivals, both in stopover visitors and cruise passengers alike, and would require more intense and continuous training of the country’s human resources.

“So I am putting you on notice that the industry is at its crescendo point and we are at the cusp of a new day and a level of development like we have never seen before – prepare yourselves for it, get the investment arrangements together, Government will deal with the regulatory and the policy arrangements,” Bartlett said to an audience which included politicians, tourism stakeholders, and other business leaders.