By Denise Dennis
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Jamaican Cabinet has given approval for the implementation of a rescue plan for the Canadian tourism market.
The objective is to increase arrivals to the island from Canada for the 2016/2017 winter season, which starts in December.
Minister of education, youth and information, Senator Ruel Reid, said as part of the plan, Jamaica Vacations Limited (JAMVAC) is to be provided with US$275,000 for seat support, while the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will receive US$425,000 for cooperative marketing and promotion targeted at that market.
Reid, who was addressing a post-Cabinet press briefing on Tuesday, said the move follows a recent trip to Canada by minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, where he met with leading tourism stakeholders to discuss declines in arrivals from that country.
Bartlett has indicated that the government is targeting in excess of two million visitors to the island from the United States and Canada. When combined, the two markets are responsible for more than 1.7 million visitors to the country.
JAMVAC, which is an entity within the tourism ministry, helps to maintain and increase visitor numbers through consistent airlift and to grow new markets and gateways.
Meanwhile, Reid said that a concept paper is to be developed for a tourism networks policy and strategy.
He noted that the implementation of the policy will require the collaboration of several ministries.
The ministries of tourism, and transport and mining will be critically involved in the consultations for development of the policy and strategy.
Reid also noted that Cabinet granted approval for Jamaica to host the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Conference next year to culminate the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
A national seed policy is also to be tabled in Parliament as a Green Paper, which will serve as a guide to increasing agriculture productivity to meet Jamaica’s requirements for food security and nutrition.
This is in light of the agriculture sector contributing 6.6 percent to total gross domestic product (GDP) last year.
Photo: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator Ruel Reid. JIS Photo