Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Devon House gastronomy experience will be expanded to include a self-service kitchen, farmers’ market and food shops.
He made the announcement while launching the heritage site, located on Hope Road, St. Andrew, as the island’s first gastronomy centre on May 29.
He informed that the stand-alone, self-service kitchen will not include a chef, and visitors will have the opportunity to cook their own meals after purchasing produce, meats and condiments from the farmers’ market to be located in proximity to the kitchen.
At the food shops, visitors will pay for, then sample, a selection of the island’s cuisine, while enjoying local wines and rums.
Mr. Bartlett noted that the overall aim is to establish Jamaica as a prime gastronomy destination.
“This is so that the world can come here to sample all types of foods. One of the things we know is that people travel to eat. In fact, the international gastronomy market is approximately US$150 billion. Eighty-eight per cent of the people who travel the world, travel primarily for food experiences,” he noted.
Gastronomic tourism or food tourism refers to trips made to destinations around the world where the local food and beverages are the main motivating factors for travel.
Minister Bartlett said gastronomy tourism provides an opportunity for Jamaica to add value to the tourism sector by diversifying the product.
He said the move will also create new economic activities for locals, reduce unemployment, generate more income, and enable the country to retain more of the tourism dollar.
“Some 30 cents of that dollar remains in Jamaica, but we want to lift that amount to 40 and then 50. Once that happens, the real impact will be felt on the tourism industry from top to bottom,” he said.
Devon House Gastronomy Centre includes the world-famous Devon House I-Scream Store; the Grog Shoppe, which offers an extensive list of Jamaican and international cuisine; bars, cafés, a bakery, pizzeria, and steakhouse, among others.
Article by: Chad Bryan
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm