Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has pointed to music tourism as a way of expanding the industry based on Jamaica’s strength as the region’s top entertainment destination.
Addressing a recent graduation ceremony in the western parish of St. James, Bartlett said that in order to fully capitalize, “We are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.
“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.
Increasingly, music fans come to Jamaica
“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.
Bartlett said while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.
“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right.”
Special focus on entertainment tourism
“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.
Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.
He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.
“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” he added.
“Therefore, we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.