KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says the Tourism Linkages Network is playing a significant role in increasing consumption of local goods and services, creating employment and generating and retaining more foreign exchange earnings locally.
He was speaking at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston held yesterday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
The linkages hub was created in 2013 to strengthen the relationship between tourism and other sectors of the economy, and position the industry to generate higher growth rates in visitor arrivals and earnings.
The objective is to widen the net of people benefiting from tourism and create a sector that is more inclusive and offers increased opportunities for economic growth and development.
Bartlett said that there have been significant successes in strengthening the linkages between tourism and other sectors, such as manufacturing, agriculture and the creative industries.
“We are building on these successes and expanding the linkages through our five networks – sports and entertainment, shopping, knowledge and wellness as well as gastronomy. We think these are exciting dimensions to our tourism,” he noted.
He pointed to the need for increased investment in the development of locally manufactured and produced goods.
“The opportunities now exist for us to become a wealthy country by producing the goods and services that these visitors need,” Bartlett said, noting that this will create more sustainable tourism products and add to the authentic visitor experience.