Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government continues to take concrete steps to expand the tourism product and to create more opportunities that will improve the livelihood of Jamaicans.
Mr. Holness, who was giving the keynote address at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on November 28, pointed to “heritage, health, wellness tourism, and ecotourism” as some of the areas where the country can benefit.
He also noted that preserving the Cockpit Country Protected Area allows Jamaica to create new economic opportunities while sustaining the environment.
“We recently declared the boundaries of the Cockpit Country Protected Area, which is recognised nationally and internationally for its lush forests, rich biodiversity, freshwater resources, and historical and cultural significance,” he told the conference.
He added that on November 30, along with the Rasta Indigenous Village and Bunkers Hill Cultural Xperience & River Tour, the Cockpit Country Adventure Tours is one of the local community tourism enterprises being showcased to the delegates.
Mr. Holness said the Government is taking steps to make the changes to the infrastructure and the activities offered to ensure that visitors “enjoy” their stay, while also ensuring “respect” for the environment.
“Tourism must be developed in a sustainable way, so as to preserve the resources of destinations. Its development must be properly planned and managed, as the resources on which tourism depends must be available for future generations,” he emphasised.
“As the global economy expands, and tourism along with it, there is strong evidence that tourism, if properly designed and managed, can contribute significantly to the global agenda of tackling poverty and fostering development,” the Prime Minister added.
Mr. Holness argued that tourism is fundamentally a people-based activity, and that careful planning of human resources, with private enterprises and employee representatives, is needed to ensure that the sector can fulfil its employment-creation potential and has a sufficient supply of suitably skilled labour to meet future growth.