Jamaica: Linkages increasing opportunities for Small Tourism Suppliers

A new marketing gateway is being opened by way of the tourism linkages strategy, for the “the ordinary Jamaican” to benefit from dollar resources of the growing industry.

An indication of this working was given by Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett yesterday as he delivered the keynote address at a ceremony renaming a street in honor of Hon. Godfrey Dyer. As of yesterday, the Sunset Boulevard which links directly with the Sangster International Airport, is to be known as Godfrey Dyer Boulevard.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (left) shares a light moment with Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Hon Godfrey Dyer (center) and Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Homer Davis, both of whom welcomed him for Thursday’s ceremony to rename Sunset Boulevard, Godfrey Dyer Boulevard, in honor of Mr. Dyer for his contribution to the development of the city

Regarding the dollar-earning plan, Minister Bartlett divulged that “We’re looking at how to make the ordinary Jamaican who lives within the areas of the hotels to become suppliers of the inputs of tourism.”

The initiative is evolving in Lilliput, St James, home of the Iberostar Hotels. According to Minister Bartlett, there “small suppliers, using old tires, discarded pans and other receptacles and borrowing on the technology of hydroponics, are now producing tomatoes and bell peppers that are now ready for the market, and Iberostar is ready to buy.”

The Tourism Minister said while that may seem to be a little thing, “it is big thing because once that is replicated you will find that the ordinary man who thought that living around the hotel only meant working for the hotel, is now going to find that he can be a big supplier to the hotel that is across the road from him.” That, he said, was a “big thing for inclusiveness in terms of this industry.”

Mr. Dyer and the Tourism Linkages Network, which falls under the Tourism Enhancement Fund, were commended for this innovation “because it is going to be a big game-changer in terms of the ability to retain the dollar that we earn in tourism in the communities that are around the tourism area.”

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Regarding Mr. Dyer, Minister Bartlett catalogued an encyclopedia of his achievements and lauded him for a lifetime of unstinting service in both the public and private sectors. He said the event was really about extolling Mr Dyer’s virtues “and who has dedicated himself and his life to the building and enhancing of this great city of Montego Bay.”

Having played a pivotal role in the creation of the Tourism Enhancement Fund while serving as president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association, Mr Dyer is now in his second term as chairman of TEF. Under his Chairmanship Minister Bartlett declared, “Godfrey has done a tremendous job with the fund especially as it relates to the level of development it has supported.”

Montego Bay, regarded as the main pillar of the island’s tourism industry, has seen more development than any other entity, said Mr Bartlett. “Absolutely no entity has provided more capital injection in the development of Montego Bay than the Tourism Enhancement Fund under the chairmanship of Godfrey Dyer,” he said.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, Corporate Communications, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4926-30, Fax: 920-4944

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Linda Hohnholz