Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says music tourism is a rapidly expanding market, which plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as the top entertainment destination in the region.
Addressing the graduation ceremony for the DJ Capacity Building Training Programme at the Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, St. James, on June 21, Mr. Bartlett said to fully capitalize, “we are positioning” the tourism sector to work strategically with the music industry to create valuable products and experiences for visitors.
“Our music continues to set Jamaica apart from rival destinations,” the Minister pointed out.
“Each year more and more reggae music fans converge on the island to enjoy great music and the offerings of a remarkable destination. The resounding success of music festivals like Reggae Sumfest and Sting have helped to enhance our international profile significantly,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett said that while the Ministry is committed to fostering the continued development of the entertainment industry and its full integration into the tourism product, he is fully cognizant that there is still more to be done to maximize the potential of “this important” sub-sector.
“So, as we put in place the framework to further diversify our tourism product, we are well aware of the enormous benefits if we get this right,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“We have to give visitors more things to do when they come to our island. We have to tap into their passion points, and music is a great way to start. Simply put, we are placing a special focus on developing entertainment tourism as part of our growth strategy,” he noted.
Mr. Bartlett said that while the country’s goal of welcoming five million visitors annually remains on target, there is simply no room for complacency.
He said that as good as the current offerings may be, stakeholders should always be looking to innovate and focus on growing earnings per visitor and retaining more of those earnings in Jamaica.
“It goes without saying that entertainment is an area in which we are world beaters,” the Minister further added.
“Therefore we are taking the necessary steps to capitalize on the tremendous potential Jamaica has in this area to significantly boost our arrivals and tourism earnings,” he said.
The Minister commended the Head of the Ministry’s Sports and Entertainment Network, Entertainment Consultant and Promoter, Kamal Bankay, noting that “he is doing an excellent job leading this initiative.”
“This is being done in collaboration with my colleague, Hon. Olivia Grange and her team from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“We will also be leveraging February’s Reggae Month to appeal to visitors. In addition, the month marks the birthdays of Jamaica’s most recognizable musicians, the King of Reggae Bob Marley and the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, both great selling points,” the Minister said.