Minister Bartlett Challenges Youth to be Part of Tourism

Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has urged young people “to become a part of the tourism machinery that is driving global development and economic growth.”

The appeal was made as he addressed the Jamaica Youth Tourism Summit, hosted by Tourism Management students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Western Jamaica Campus at the Montego Bay Convention Centre recently, with hundreds of students from local high schools in attendance.

The summit was held under the theme “Preserving our Roots … Embracing Changes.” Speaking on the topic ‘Cultural Retention in Modern Tourism,’ Minister Bartlett drew attention to the fact that globally the industry has been undergoing significant changes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Bartlett posited:

With innovation driving recovery and growth of the industry, Minister Bartlett said tourism was now in the vortex of innovation. “It’s a new tourism that has emerged since COVID-19 and it’s a tourism that is also going to be influenced heavily by technology.”

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The students heard that their involvement in the transformative process, guided by technology, was vital to understanding what their primary duty was. “Your primary responsibility is not merely to accumulate the knowledge, useful as that is, your primary responsibility must be, in time, to use the knowledge that you have to add value to your process,” Mr. Bartlett added.

He told the students that last year Jamaica earned US$4.2 billion from 4.1 million visitors and was the only country in the western region to have had 11 consecutive quarters of economic growth “and that is driven by 11 consecutive quarters of tourism growth.”

Attributing these successes to the Jamaican culture, Minister Bartlett said, “we’re an innovative and resilient people, and that resilience has enabled us to be able to reduce unemployment during this period from 13% to 4.2% in our country.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace charged participants with the responsibility of sharing the knowledge gained at the youth tourism summit and encouraged them to stand out as leaders, especially at this time in the country’s history.

SEEN IN IMAGE:  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), greets students of Irwin High School in St James on his arrival at the Montego Bay Convention Centre recently to give the keynote address at the latest staging of the Jamaica Youth Tourism Summit, hosted by Tourism Management students at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Western Jamaica Campus. The Irwin High students later delivered a medley of popular Jamaican cultural songs that was well received by the audience.

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Linda Hohnholz