Jamaica and Sierra Leone have – through recent discussions around air connectivity, training and development, marketing and promotional activities, cultural exchange, tourism diversification, and growth and resilience – signaled a recognition by both countries of a need to widen their tourism catchment beyond their traditional regions.
The discussions were coming as both regions – the Caribbean and Africa – reset and reconfigure their tourism sectors following massive COVID-related disruptions.
“With the strong historical and cultural association between Jamaica and Sierra Leone, it is strategic to collaborate and strengthen our tourism cooperation,” said Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s minister of tourism, who held the talks with his Sierra Leone counterpart Dr Memunatu Pratt.
DYNAMISM OF AFRICAN INNOVATION
“Both countries have a lot to offer in tourism and we can capitalise on this to build out new experiences for our visitors.”
Apart from tourism, the South-South exchange of technology and innovation is expected to assist both regions with the dynamism of African innovation has started to command attention in the richer northern countries.
At the same time, Jamaica’s experience with resilience, shared with the rest of the Caribbean, is expected to benefit the fledgling economies of Africa as they move towards complete economic independence.
Sustainable growth in the tourism and other sectors rely heavily on resilience and the space it provides for innovation and community-centred development.
“The pandemic has been the most tangible example of tourism vulnerability to disruptions and so a major area of focus will be resilience and resilience building to ensure the future proofing of the industry. It is critical that we build capacity in tourism to withstand and recover stronger for the next disruption we may encounter,” Bartlett said.
Both ministers are expected to attend the upcoming Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Kingston at the University of the West Indies’ Regional Headquarters from February 15-17.
Further discussions to finalise a memorandum of understanding between the two countries will be held on the margins of the tourism meeting.