Jamaica minister calls for regional approach to tourism


Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill


MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica, Thursday May 21, 2015  Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill is pressing for a regional approach to growing the Caribbean tourism market.

“Our regional governments must continue to work together to strengthen our ties with meaningful cooperation as we build a strong, multi-destination industry,” he said ahead of his departure on Tuesday for Haiti to participate in the International Seminar on Multidestination Opportunities for Regional Integration with fellow regional Ministers of Tourism, which is being jointly organized by the Haitian Government and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

He said he anticipated a high level of collaboration and the sharing of ideas at the Haiti consultation.

“It is crucial that we hold our own in a global industry that necessitates that we keep at the top of our game,” McNeill said.

Meanwhile, he was upbeat about growth prospects for the local tourism sector.

With the industry topping the two million mark in visitor stopovers in the last two consecutive years, Minister McNeill said he expected the trend to continue.

“Tourism is performing well and we are seeing a resurgence of investment in the country. Plans are well advanced for the construction of over 3,000 new rooms,” he said.

However, he stressed, “just bringing investments to Jamaica is not what tourism does”.

“What makes tourism important in Jamaica is the impact that it has on the socio-economic life of every single Jamaican,” McNeill noted.

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