Bartlett shares with world, Ja's guide to boost tourism sustainability … – Loop News Jamaica

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The Ministry of Tourism’s template to boost tourism resilience and sustainability by engaging players of all sizes in the hospitality sector’s value chain has been introduced to the global tourism industry for replication.
Speaking during a panel discussion on the margins of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett outlined several initiatives that are being undertaken by the ministry and its public bodies to support small and medium-size  tourism enterprises (SMTEs) while holding them accountable to sustainable business practices that are aligned with industry standards.
“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,” Bartlett said.
He also explained how the strategy and policy direction of the ministry have been positioned to bolster Jamaican SMTEs.
“We spend a lot on training and developing the capacity of small players to be firstly, more creative and innovative, and secondly, to be resourced financially. So, we established a JM$1 billion window for lending to small and medium enterprises through the EXIM bank in Jamaica,” Bartlett stated.
Technology was further highlighted as a major tool that is being utilised by the Ministry of Tourism in its drive to build resilience and substantiality in tourism and connect the smaller players in the industry to the larger enterprises.
In stressing the success of the Tourism Enhancement Fund’s (TEF) Agri-Linkages Exchange (ALEX) initiative, Bartlett added: “We established a platform called ALEX, which connects the small farmers of one acre to five acres in deep-rural regions to purveyors and procurement officers in the hotels all across Jamaica. So, on their smartphones, they can work out prices and delivery systems that allow for produce to be brought directly from farm gate to hotel.”
He also emphasised the collective responsibility of tourism stakeholders to protect the environment, and renewed his call for the establishment of a global tourism resilience fund.
“Our objective in tourism must not be net-zero, but net-positive. Tourism must now, in COP 28, make its voice heard that it has a plan to mitigate, adapt and enable recovery. So, a proposal for funding is important, and there’s a need for the establishment of a tourism resilience fund voluntarily financed by each individual that travels,” stated Bartlett.
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