Rethinking Tourism

Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, its public bodies and industry partners will be highlighting the importance of the tourism sector to economic development and is inviting stakeholders to rethink how they approach tourism in a post-COVID-19 pandemic world, through the observance of Tourism Awareness Week (TAW) 2022, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

The week will be observed under the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) theme for World Tourism Day (Sept. 27) – “Rethinking Tourism.” The theme highlights the shift towards tourism being recognized as a crucial pillar of development.

In underscoring the importance of the theme, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett explained that: “Amid the uncertainties that have characterized the current post-COVID-19 period, an unprecedented opportunity has been presented for us to rethink strategies for building the resilience of Jamaica’s tourism industry.”

Minister Bartlett continued: “The Ministry has always advocated for a sector that is economically sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally friendly; however, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated our commitment to rethinking tourism to maximize its contribution to the social and economic well-being of the nation and its citizens.”

He also noted that the tourism sector is “the single largest contributor to GDP, the main source of foreign revenues and one of the country’s main sources of exports” adding that “overall, the tourism sector has grown by 36% over the past 30 years against total economic growth of 10%.”

Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett revealed that the “rethinking of Jamaica’s tourism is being guided by our Blue Ocean Strategy, which is playing a leading role in revitalizing Jamaica’s tourism industry. It calls for the creation of business models that depart from traditional ones based on competition and standardization.”

Reinforcing the point, Director of Tourism, Donovan White said: “As a destination, using the key premises of the Blue Ocean Strategy framework, we have shifted our strategic focus to one of enhanced value-creation through product differentiation and diversification.”

White continued: “We are opening up new markets and creating new demand in uncontested market spaces instead of going down the well-trodden path and competing in saturated markets.”