Positive Tourism News

Positive articles, news and events in the Caribbean.

Tourism Ministry to Develop Innovation Council


KINGSTON, Jamaica; May 22, 2018:  Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says a Tourism Innovation Council will be developed, under the newly restructured Tourism Enhancement Fund, to drive ground-breaking ideas within the industry and to encourage more Jamaicans to become entrepreneurs.

Speaking at a TEF Board of Directors meeting earlier today, the Minister noted that “the board that will drive innovation is now going to change. Instead of there being a board of governance for the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation, I will now have an Innovation Council that will work alongside the Tourism Linkages Council, who I believe are also the drivers of experiential tourism in the island.”

He noted that his Ministry has begun looking at prospects to join the council, who have vast experience in business start-ups and innovation.

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Unprecedented Tourism Growth Exceeding Targets

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday May 14, 2018: Tourism continues to experience unprecedented growth as the industry plays a lead role in the government’s growth agenda. With three years into a five-year expansion plan set by Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett, projections are being exceeded.

Following a record-breaking season in 2017, Minister Bartlett reported to Parliament in his 2018 sectoral presentation recently, that tourism numbers for the first quarter of this year had hit new highs with January to March arrivals of 1,298,674, representing an increase of 6.6 percent over the corresponding period last year.

The 625,002 stopovers and 673, 672 cruise passengers meant the island had over 80,000 more visitors for the period. Gross estimated foreign exchange earnings for the quarter stood at US$825.3million, an increase of 8.5 percent.

“The rapidly expanding tourism sector has maintained its position as one of the main contributors to job creation, investments and foreign revenues in the economy over the last several decades,” said Minister Bartlett in his report, with data indicating that the total economic impact of the sector surpassed most other segments of the economy.

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Minister Bartlett to participate in South Korean Conferences

KINGSTON, Jamaica; May 13, 2018:  Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett leaves the island today to participate in the 9th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC) and the PATA Annual Summit in South Korea.

While there, the Minister is expected to participate in a series of panel discussions on the state of the tourism industry globally. He will also use the opportunity to garner support for the Global Resilience and Crisis Management Centre and Observatory, which will be housed at the University of West Indies, Mona.

The Minister’s first engagement in South Korea is the 9th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC), where he will speak about: Tourism and Sustainable Development and Globalization and Cooperation in Asia Pacific, at two of the sessions on May 16. The invitation was extended by Sang-Hoon Bang, President and CEO of theChosunilbo, the largest newspaper in South Korea and hosts of the ALC.

In the letter of invitation, Mr Bang noted that the Minister was invited because of the significant contributions he has made to the global tourism industry as the world’s leading Tourism Minister.

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High Commissioner-designate to South Africa pays Courtesy Call on Hon. Edmund Bartlett

PHOTO CAPTION: KINGSTON, Jamaica; May 05, 2018: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Jennifer Griffith (left) were recently visited by High Commissioner-designate to the Republic of South Africa, Her Excellency Angella Comfort at the New Kingston offices of the Ministry of Tourism on May 04, 2018.  The group discussed strengthening relations between the two nations and the elements that would need to be put in place to attain this goal.  Mrs. Comfort will assume duties in Pretoria in mid-May 2018.

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Tourism Minister Lobbies for SMTE Support at G-20 Meeting in Argentina

KINGSTON, Jamaica; April 18, 2018:  Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett made his presentation at the G20-T20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Buenos Aries, Argentina, yesterday April 17, 2018. The members accepted the Minister’s bid to promote Small and Medium Sized Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) as key drivers of economic growth. They also warmly received Jamaica’s proposal for the Global Tourism Resilience Centre, which is to be housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The Group of 20 (G-20) is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 of the world's largest economies and the European Union. The Minister is joined by his Senior Advisor/Consultant Dr. Lloyd Waller and is expected to return to the island on April 26, 2018.



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Dr. Taleb Rifai is the new chairman of the IIPT International Advisory Board

Source: Written by Juergen Steinmetz, April 16, 2018

“Whatever our business in life may be, let us always remember that our core business is, and will always be, to make this world a better place.” Peace is definitely an ingredient when making this world a better place. These words coming from a citizen of the Kingdom of Jordan, it means there is a natural connection between peace and tourism.

Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General from 2009 through 2017 was the head of the UN Specialized Agency in charge of Tourism, known as the World Tourism Organization.

The former UNWTO Secretary-General has been a man of peace, building a bridge of friendships and integrity for our largest industry in the world, the Travel and Tourism Industry.

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Wellness resort is the new destination spa

Fulfilling one of its first objectives, the newly-founded Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) , has created a WTA Glossary of Industry Terms that will become the basis for common understanding, plus further define and establish standards for the growing global wellness tourism industry. The Glossary currently consists of the following eight term: Wellness Destination, Wellness Tourism, Wellness Travel, Wellness Traveler, Wellness Resort, Wellness Retreat, Wellness Vacation and Wellness Visitor, and new terms will be added as the industry continues to evolve.

“The definitions have taken considerable time and thoughtful debate among the WTA Board of Directors,” says Chairman, Andrew Gibson. “We feel the terms will provide clarification and benefits not only to our members, but to anyone with an interest in the wellness tourism industry.”

One of the more noteworthy terms of the new WTA Glossary is Wellness Resorts, which will replace, for the purposes of the WTA, the Destination Spa category. “The Destination Spa category had its day as a ‘one-size fits all’ qualifier,” says Thomas Klein, Canyon Ranch, President and Chief Operating Officer, ”but it never truly defined integrative spas with offerings far beyond standard treatments.” For instance, at Canyon Ranch, Klein says the term Wellness Resort “is much more aligned with our philosophy because wellness is not an amenity, an afterthought or trend — it’s our focus.” He says, “A true Wellness Resort is more than just a place to relax and shed a few pounds, it is a place to make transformative life changes that last well beyond the vacation.” The term will also cover WTA members such as Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary in Thailand.

The use of the term “Destination” has been re-purposed to Wellness Destination, to identify a geographic region with a strategic approach to develop and market their wellness-related assets.

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Tourism Commissioner Tells Partners USVI Open For Business

PHOTO CAPTION: (From left) JetBlue Airways' Jack Massey and Dylan Kleopfer, Virgin Islands Port Authority Executive Director David Mapp, Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty and JetBlue's Eric Tanner in New York this week.

NEW YORK (April 14, 2018) - U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty continues to make audiences across the U.S. mainland and the globe aware that the Territory is open for business.

Addressing a broad range of consumers and industry stakeholders over the past week in Atlanta, Chicago and New York, Commissioner Nicholson-Doty thanked partners for their support of the U.S. Virgin Islands during the ongoing recovery process and suggested that the best way to continue helping the U.S. Virgin Islands is to visit the Territory.

Last weekend, the Commissioner addressed close to 200 delegates attending the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Region III Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and thanked the media for keeping St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas in the spotlight since last September's storms.

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Horticulture to save US$3 through Tourism Linkages Network

First place

BLACK RIVER, St Elizabeth, Monday, April 3, 2018: Horticulture is to have a place in the Tourism Linkages Network with a view to have Jamaicans benefiting from the nearly US$3 million currently being spent to import flowers.

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett disclosed yesterday that he had discussed with Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Council (TLC), Adam Stewart, the need to have the horticultural societies represented at the next meeting of the Council “because we must include in the Linkages, the floral attributes and the floral cultural assets of Jamaica for sale in the hotels across the country.”

He said the nearly US$3 million spent on importing flowers from Costa Rica and other countries last year should be going into the pockets of farmers and horticulturists across Jamaica.

Minister Bartlett was giving the keynote address at the official opening of the 56th staging of the St Elizabeth Horticultural Society’s annual flower show at Independence Park. He told the gathering that, “We must take a new look at providing this particular product for the industry, in terms of quality and availability; how we create the arrangement and more importantly, a new look at the culture itself of production of these important assets.”

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Jamaica Named Best Destination in the Caribbean

Photo Caption: South African Praise Poet, Jessica Mbangeni, enjoying the day at Rockhouse Resort & Spa in Negril, Jamaica.

Photo Credit: Sharon Parris-Chambers

KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 22, 2018:  Jamaica is celebrating its #1 ranking on the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice™ awards’ Best Destinations in the Caribbean list.

The well respected planning and booking website highlighted the Caribbean’s best islands based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions.

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Pan African Federalist Movement NIC Jamaica Elects 2018 Steering Committee

The National Initiating Committee (NIC) of the Pan African Federalist Movement (PAFM) has elected its Steering Committee for 2018.

Slate of Representatives:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



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Berlin, Germany – March 8, 2018: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett was today awarded Worldwide Tourism Minister of the Year by the prestigious Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) in Berlin, Germany.

“It is truly humbling to be recognized in this manner at such a major international event. I accept this award, not for myself but for the people of Jamaica – it is clear that we have made our mark on the globe. The world now knows that Jamaica can host the biggest conferences and that we have some of the best attractions and hotels. No matter the passion point of our visitor, we can deliver,” said the Minister.

During the ceremony, Jamaica also received the PATWA International Travel Award 2017 for Best Destination for Adventure Tourism.

PATWA is a professional organisation of travel writers, which was founded in 1998 and works with both the public and private sectors to support sustainable growth and improve the quality of travel and tourism. It adheres to the fundamental principles of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations (UN), and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). PATWA is an affiliate member of UNWTO.

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Berlin, Germany (March 8, 2018). As Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett’s aggressive European Tourism growth strategy continues to take root, he today confirmed with Eurowings officials that once weekly scheduled nonstop flights between the German city of Munich and Montego Bay, Jamaica will commence on July 18 of this year.

The airline is already aggressively promoting on its website www.eurowings.com fares of between US$500 and US$1,000 for a roundtrip ticket between Germany and Jamaica. Fares are open to everyone including Jamaicans wanting to travel to Europe.

“Munich is one of the largest and wealthiest cities in Europe and capital of the German state of Bavaria, base for some of the biggest companies in the world including BMW, Audi, Puma and Adidas. The state has a population of 13 million and Munich Airport is one of Europe’s busiest hubs with many from neighbouring countries like Switzerland, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic connecting through there. It is a very important development for Jamaica.” – Bartlett said.

Bartlett is in Berlin, Germany for the ITB global tourism tradeshow, the largest of its kind in the world, attracting around 109,000 visitors and 10,000 exhibitors to trade stands, talks and workshops. He is joined by Director of Tourism, Donovan White; Senior Advisor/ Strategist, Delano Seiveright and European based JTB officials.  

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Minister Bartlett to Address World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank in Greece

KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 2, 2018:   Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has left the island, to participate in the World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank in Costa Navarindo, Greece. The Think Tank is a top-level strategic body where leaders, investors, and ministers from around the world gather to discuss key challenges and opportunities faced by the tourism industry and formulate a strategy.

“I am looking forward to engaging tourism stakeholders and investors to share our regional position, experiences and way forward in sustaining the tourism product. The theme, which focuses on the role of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in sustainable tourism growth, is relevant given the need to partner in areas of disaster preparedness and diversification, among other things,” said Minister Bartlett.

“Discussion on best practices, models and requirements for successful PPPs in the tourism sector, given global change dynamics such as technology, finance and consumers needs as well as its disruptive impacts, have become even more critical,” He added.

While in Europe, Minister Bartlett will meet with the Campari Group which is a leading player in the global branded beverage industry. Minister Bartlett will then travel to Germany to participate in International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin, which is the largest tourism trade show in the world.

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 South Africa’s Jessica Mbangeni Set to Rock Bob Marley Birthday Celebration

Kingston, Jamaica, W.I. (January 30, 2018). Award-winning Praise poet, entertainer and community development specialist, Jessica Mbangeni from South Africa (Azania) had her sights set to return to Jamaica since her first visit in August 2017. Her wish has come true and she returns to the island to perform for Bob Marley’s 73rd Birthday celebration, February 6, 2018 to be staged at the Bob Marley Museum, Kingston. 

The event is  themed: ‘Soul Rebel,’ a call for people to unite against violence and divisiveness in society. Cedella Marley, CEO of the Bob Marley Group of Companies said the theme was selected because now more than ever, there is a need for us to raise our consciousness, to fearlessly rebel against the crime and violence that threaten to divide us.

Tuff Gong & the Family of Bob Marley leads world wide-tributes to the music icon, which are independently being produced in the United Kingdom, Hawaii, New York, Denmark, Belize and Negril with the 26th annual staging of the Bob Marley Birthday Bash, just to name a few locations. 

Headlining the music showcase is Morgan Heritage live from Denmark. Among the Special guest performers is Jessica Mbangeni who made her maiden voyage to the island to perform for the Jamaica Poetry Festival, produced by Yasus Afari, in August 2017.  She also ‘brought the house down’ at the Marcus Garvey Tribute & Concert staged by IRIE FM Radio in Coconut Grove, St. Ann, Ocho Rios.

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Minister of Tourism Announces Donovan White as new Director of Tourism of Jamaica Tourist Board

KINGSTON, JAMAICA; January 29, 2018:  Mr. Donovan White has been selected to fill the position of Director of Tourism of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), after an extensive local and international search. His appointment has been announced by Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett. 

Mr. White, a Jamaican national, whose term as head of the country’s tourism marketing agency, will commence officially on February 15, 2018, brings with him many years of marketing and business development experience. He served recently as Vice President of Cable & Wireless Business, Jamaica, where he was responsible for year over year revenue growth of 29 percent and 12 percent in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 respectively.

Prior to that, Mr. White served as Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Media Services at Columbus Communications Jamaica Limited (FLOW), leading commercial teams to deliver revenue growth in 2013 and 2014. During that period, he was responsible for delivering a 25 percent year over year growth in sales from trade.

Mr. White has also held the positions of General Manager of Caledonia Outdoor Advertising Limited, where he helped to reduce the cost of operations by 25 percent and grow revenues by 15 percent and Digicel Group Limited, working as Marketing Director for Jamaica, Guyana and the Northern OECS, managing the execution of some of the largest and most successful brand and tactical campaigns.

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IRIE FM to confer Lifetime Achievement Award to Bunny Wailer

The highly anticipated second staging of IRIE FM’S Lifetime Achievement Awards will be held on February 11, 2018 at the Bournemouth Beach Park Complex in East Kingston.

The announcement was made by IRIE FM’s Programmes Manager Ka'Bu Ma'at Kheru who informed the stations listeners that Grove Broadcasting Co. IRIE FM, will  confer its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to the Honourable Neville Oriley Livingston OM (Bunny Wailer, Jah B) during a star-studded awards function slated for Reggae Month in St Andrew.

The IRIE FM Lifetime Achievement Award first awarded in February 2017, is presented  annually during Reggae Month, to a Jamaican, distinguished by a body of work that demonstrates outstanding and exceptional leadership, dedication and achievement nationally and internationally, and who has shown exceptional leadership in industry advancement.

The IRIE FM Lifetime Achievement Award also recognizes a Jamaican who has dedicated his/her life to a worthy cause or given to the community/nation in a major way, and Bunny Wailer exemplifies all the above.

 In October  last year, the only living Wailer was conferred the order of Merit the  nations third Highest honour  at Kings House in Kingston the islands  Capital.  

The first recipient of  the IRIE FM Life time achievement award was the James Chambers popularly known as  Jimmy Cliff. The award was presented to the musical Icon at the Summerton All Age  school in St James last  year February. The function was well attended and hailed as an exemplary  initiative  by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. Among the list of  officials in attendance at the  function was former Prime Minister of  Jamaica Percival James Patterson. 

Among the list of  entertainers slated  to pay tribute for this year’s staging of the event are: Marcia Griffiths and  Judy Mowatt of the  I Threes,  Daddy  U-Roy, Bob Andy,  Andrew Tosh, Dwight Pinkney  Nomadz, Abijah Livingston, (Asadenaki) Bunny Wailers Son and Blvk  H3ro.

Tributes will be  presented by Minister of Culture, Gender entertainment and Sports Olivia Babsy Grange,  Mayor of  Kingston Delroy Williams and Member of  Parliament for Port  Royal and  East Kingston, Philip Paulwell.

Contact: Pat Clarke

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Knutsford Express opens new depot at Sangster's Airport for Seamless passenger connection

Montego Bay, St. James, (January 9, 2018). Stressing the need for a seamless connection with arriving and departing passengers, Knutsford Express, officially opened its Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay depot, for luxury bus service and courier service on Tuesday, January 9.

Dubbed ‘City2City in comfort and style’, the move is also aimed at creating a multimodal environment in the form of a transit hub that international travelers have become accustomed to in major destinations.

It will also create additional employment as well as improve ease and independence of travel for commuters.

"Knutsford is a company that prides itself on comfort, safety and reliability,” explained Oliver Townsend, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

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Rebel Salute Celebrates Silver!

By Alecia Leon, Staff Reporter

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, says the Rebel Salute show has a massive impact on the Jamaican economy since its inception 25 years ago.

Speaking at the launch of the 2018 event, which is dubbed the greatest roots reggae show on earth, at the Jamaica Pegasus, in Kingston on Monday December 17, Minister Grange lauded the promoters of the festival, stating that not many similar music events have survived as long.

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Anguilla Gets Funding to Restore Electricity and Builds Climate Resilience after Hurricane Irma


THE VALLEY, Anguilla, Friday December 22, 2017 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved over US$5 million in funding to support the Anguilla Electricity Company Limited (ANGLEC) with the complete restoration of its transmission and distribution system which was damaged during the passage of Hurricane Irma in September.

The severe weather event destroyed poles, transmission lines and transformers, causing notable disruption to Anguilla’s electricity supply. The outage also interrupted the island’s water supply and resulted in the cancellation of numerous hotel bookings.

“The economic impact of these disruptions has been significant. This project will therefore focus on urgently restoring the transmission and distribution system by financing the purchase of replacement equipment and material needed for complete restoration,” said Daniel Best, Director, Projects Department, CDB.

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