Tourism ministry to expand ‘JAM-Iconic experience’

September 22, 2022
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, speaking during a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’. contributed

The Tourism Ministry is working to expand the ‘Jam-Iconic Experience’, through the installation of signs in resort towns islandwide.                                                     

The signs, which are being installed with the support of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), will form part of the destination experience.

Speaking during a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, Portfolio Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said millions of dollars are spent on experiences and items of art, noting that creativity helps to represent a location’s offering.           

“The iconic signage intends to capture the elements, spirit, culture and vibe of the area. With Negril, which is the ‘Capital of Casual’, you see the kind of strong colour scheme as opposed to what is used in Montego Bay, at the airport at the roundabout. It provides a feeling, a touch and a mood for the place. That’s what that type of signage is intended to do,” he explained.                                                                                               

Bartlett also advised of plans to establish similar signage in St. Ann and Trelawny.

“When we do Ocho Rios, you will see what [it] looks like and … we are going to do Falmouth too. You should see what we are doing at Discovery Bay now. When you drive by there, you will notice the landscaping that’s emerging... and in Mammee Bay, where we have the Waterwheel Experience,” he said.                                                        

With tourism earnings projected to surpass the US$4 billion mark this year, Minister Bartlett reiterated the industry’s importance to Jamaica’s economy.         

“What we are saying to the country is that we are going to have to get used to the fact that tourism is our main source of income. We have been able to stay out of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), even after this massive pandemic and the recession that it has brought in the wake of its recovery… because tourism has recovered strong,” he said.                                        

Efforts, such as the Jam-Iconic Experience, in addition to boosting the aesthetics of a location, also provide incentives for visitors to travel and share scenic shots as part of their experiences.                                                                                           

With users generating content, this expands the marketing opportunities for the island’s tourism product.                                                                                   

Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett said the Government will be prioritising public education on tourism, to help develop a deeper understanding within the general population of how the industry works for everyone.                                                               

He said while the Government remains prudent and aims to secure value for money within the expenditure, “we need to appreciate that some simple things that you may regard as not important, are vital to the industry that is generating for you the largest portion of our foreign exchange and employing so many people.”                           

Mr Bartlett emphasised the importance of not just marketing Jamaica’s tourism product to the rest of the world, but also to the people of the country.                             

“We are going to have to start marketing to ourselves, so we understand better, and we will get less outcry on simple activities that are critical to a process,” he maintained.

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