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, Edmund Bartlett earlier as he delivered the keynote address at a ceremony renaming a street in honour of Godfrey Dyer.
As of yesterday, the Sunset Boulevard which links directly with the Sangster International Airport, is to be known as Godfrey Dyer Boulevard.
Regarding the dollar-earning plan, Bartlett divulged: “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 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 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”.
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,” Bartlett added.
Regarding Dyer, Bartlett catalogued an encyclopaedia 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 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 & Tourism Association, Dyer is now in his second term as chairman of TEF.
Under his chairmanship 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 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 concluded.
Most recently under the leadership of minister Bartlett, Jamaica has been recognised as the Caribbean’s Leading Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards for the past 14 consecutive years.