Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says that focus is being placed on ensuring that small and medium-sized tourism enterprises (SMTEs) can command a larger share of the tourism dollar.
“We are prioritising by creating strategic policies, programmes and initiatives that can aid in building the resilience and increasing the capacity of local SMTEs to earn more,” he noted.
Bartlett was speaking after a panel discussion at the Arabian Travel Market tradeshow in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday (May 3).
He noted that the panel discussion, under the theme ‘Strategic Sustainability Planning – Where Does the Supply Chain Start?’ involved some major tourism players from markets that Jamaica is trying to penetrate in the Middle East and Asia.
Bartlett said that he used the opportunity to highlight several initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry and its public bodies to support SMTEs “while holding them accountable to sustainable business practices that are aligned with industry standards”.
He also said that coming out of the pandemic, the sector is being reimagined, recognising that the post-COVID-19 traveller is not the same as visitors past and that the SMTEs will have a huge role to play in that regard.
He said that sustainability and resilience in the global tourism industry can only be achieved by inclusivity and full cooperation from all sector players – big and small, noting that the post-COVID-19 era must be one where players of all sizes in the tourism value chain are engaged and respected.
“It’s important that we know it can’t be a business-as-usual approach where we revert to the old ways once we are of the view that COVID-19 is behind us. The essence of tourism as we know is the small and medium enterprises. They are 80 per cent of the services and the experiences that visitors have when they come to the destination,” the Minister noted.
The Arabian Travel Market, which runs from May 1 to today (May 4) at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is the market’s leading international travel event, unlocking business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
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