Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are strengthening their tourism cooperation with Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader committing to advance the process during brief discussions in Spain on Saturday (January 22).
The leaders also discussed the possibility of launching a multi-destination marketing campaign. Minister Bartlett also met with top Dominican Republic officials to strengthen tourism relations, which will result in a new level of multi-destinational tourism aimed at redefining how tourism functions in the region.
The discussions in Spain comes as Minister Bartlett and a small Jamaican team are attending the 2022 International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR)—the world’s largest annual travel tradeshow—being held in Madrid, Spain.
According to the Jamaican Tourism Minister, “Jamaica and the Dominican Republic will enter a new era of ‘co-petition,’ that is, collaboration and cooperation in tourism development rather than the traditional competition that has been a feature of the pre-COVID tourism arrangements in the Caribbean. The country’s president is here at FITUR for an entire week along with David Collado, Minister of Tourism, and the commitment is for us to work together to build tourism in the region.”
New marketing campaign
As one of three legacy outcomes from the November 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) global conference in Montego Bay, Caribbean governments and the private sector have been tasked to collaborate to advance regional integration. This is being done through the promotion and harmonisation of legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, and product development.
In his discussions, Bartlett explained, “Leading this programme is an exciting feature of the way forward for tourism in the Caribbean, and the essence of this will lead, in fact, to a level of multi-destination tourism that will redefine the way tourism functions in the region. But more importantly, it will set the stage for expanding the market within our area to meet the larger and more exciting players within the global industry and attract the mega-airlines that bring long-haul passengers into the Caribbean.”
“We are excited about the prospects of a new era for tourism development and Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are at the centre of this,” the minister added.
Bartlett also shared that debt management and funding were also at the heart of the discussions he had at FITUR.
This is to help stakeholders who were hardest hit by the pandemic to rebuild. He spoke to the president of Banco Popular, Ignacio Alvarez, which is the largest tourism bank in the Caribbean. They discussed elements of debt management in a sector that is hugely affected by credit arrangements.