Bartlett Eyes Stronger Jamaica-Africa Relations

Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has reiterated his commitment to strengthening relations between the Caribbean and Africa.

“The Caribbean has a golden opportunity to work together in this new mode of ‘co-petion’ that ithe way forward for tourism collaboration.  And the opportunity to become the bridgehead for Africa to the markets of the Americas looms greatly,” the tourism minister stated.

Speaking yesterday (April 3) at a Ministerial Roundtable at the African Tourism Investment Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, Minister Bartlett said, “I think that it is a wonderful opportunity for a reverse diaspora experience where we, from the new world, can give back to Africa based on our expertise and our investment resources in building the tourism that the Caribbean has become very famous and proficient in delivering. This is our chance to give back to Africa and tourism can be the vehicle.”

The Ministerial Roundtable, titled: “Developing a Sustainable Tourism Industry in Africa by Integrating Cultural, Environment, Good Governance and Social Concerns,” included presentations from government ministers, finance executives and administrators from South Africa, Botswana, Spain and Sierra Leone.

The African market of 1.3 billion people is being eyed as the next big source market for tourists to Jamaica as the industry seeks to diversify beyond traditional markets in North America and Europe. In furtherance of this objective, exploratory talks have been held with representatives of Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Rwanda Air concerning regular air service between Africa and Jamaica. 

Minister Bartlett stated:

“This will not only open up the African Market to the Caribbean but, also, Jamaica will become the gateway by which persons in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean may travel to the African continent.”

There has also been extensive cooperation between Jamaica and Africa in the era of tourism resilience. In February, Jamaica hosted an African Caribbean Tourism Summit as part of the historic Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Kingston.  In addition, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), which is headquartered in Kingston, is looking to expand its satellite network in Africa.  Currently, there is one centre in Africa, which is located at Kenyatta University in Kenya. However, there have been initial talks with Nigeria and Botswana.

The African Tourism Investment Summit, being held from April 3-5, 2023, attracts hundreds of ministers, mayors, investors, private equity firms, venture capitalists, decision makers, international buyers and travel professionals to focus on African tourism, investment trends, industry challenges and opportunities. The event is part of Africa Travel Week.

SEEN IN IMAGE:  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett yesterday (April 3) met with his South African counterpart, Hon. Patricia de Lille, on the margins of the African Tourism Investment Summit, currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa. The tourism ministers discussed cooperation in the areas of travel and hospitality as well as the possibility of establishing a satellite Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre in South Africa. – image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry


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