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Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Advocates Cultural Enrichment for Sustainable Tourism Growth

Hon. Edmund Bartlett emphasizes the intertwining of tourism and culture at Jamaica Youth Tourism Summit.

In a spirited address at the second Jamaica Youth Tourism Summit held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, championed the integration of the island’s rich cultural heritage into its tourism product. The summit, themed ‘Cultural Retention in Modern Tourism,’ provided a platform for youth to delve into the pivotal role of culture in shaping Jamaica’s tourism landscape.

Minister Bartlett underscored the inseparable link between tourism and culture, asserting, “Tourism is your culture, and your culture is tourism.” He urged stakeholders to embrace Jamaica’s unique cultural identity, emphasizing the significance of promoting authentic Jamaican experiences to visitors. From the iconic sounds of Bob Marley to the infectious rhythms of Dancehall and Reggae, Bartlett stressed the importance of showcasing these cultural manifestations as integral components of the Jamaican tourism experience.

Moreover, Bartlett challenged the future leaders of the tourism industry to leverage their training to add value to the sector. He encouraged the youth not only to accumulate knowledge but also to apply it innovatively to enhance existing offerings. “It is probably not to build a new mousetrap, but it is to build a better mousetrap,” Bartlett remarked, highlighting the importance of refining and enhancing Jamaica’s tourism products and services.

The summit served as a platform for insightful discussions and exchanges among participants, fostering a deeper understanding of the intersection of culture and tourism. Through interactive sessions and workshops, attendees explored strategies to preserve and promote Jamaica’s cultural heritage while ensuring sustainable tourism growth.


Minister Bartlett’s impassioned address at the Jamaica Youth Tourism Summit resonates deeply with the ethos of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean. By championing the integration of culture into the tourism narrative, Jamaica not only preserves its rich heritage but also distinguishes itself as a destination of authenticity and depth. Bartlett’s call for the youth to harness their creativity and expertise to enrich the tourism sector reflects a commitment to fostering innovation and resilience in the face of evolving industry dynamics. As Jamaica continues to navigate the complexities of modern tourism, initiatives like the youth summit serve as invaluable platforms for dialogue, collaboration, and collective action towards a more vibrant and culturally enriched tourism landscape in the Caribbean and beyond.

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