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Bartlett pumps J$200m into Tourism Linkages Network

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has committed $200 million to the Linkages Network to help build out more products to enhance the visitor experience and ensure more inclusive growth in the sector.

Bartlett made the disclosure while speaking at the launch of the new Top Events Jamaica Initiative yesterday at Devon House.

“This year, we will be spending $200 million on the networks to create the level of inclusiveness that connects the ordinary Jamaican to the tourism product and the product to the ordinary Jamaican.

“This will be a huge game changer and we are going to change the narrative and also change the feeling of the public that tourism is only for the bigger suppliers and doesn't include the smaller players,” the minister said.

The main focus of the Tourism Linkages Network (TLN) has been to bring local tourism suppliers in contact with other sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. In doing so, the Linkages Network creates more economic opportunities for our local tourism suppliers who can then earn more.

Driving this inclusive growth are five networks geared towards building out authentic Jamaican experiences for the visitors and increasing the earning potential of small suppliers and they are – gastronomy, sports and entertainment, shopping, knowledge and health and wellness, the ministry said.

The new Top Events Jamaica initiative, being spearheaded by the TLN, is designed to increase visitor participation in events and activities island wide through strategic partnerships and leveraging the power of technology, social media, and advertising.

Bartlett highlighted the importance of this new platform saying: “Top Events will place all our best entertainment products and offerings under one roof. In doing so we are allowing visitors and locals alike to chance to find these offerings with the click of a button. Top events will be a critical element that brings together our authentic Jamaican entertainment products under one roof through the use of technology.

“This type of interface is critical in the age of technology especially given that entertainment forms a large part of why people travel and as such there is value in building out more products of this nature to drive arrivals and growth in the sector,” he continued.

According to the tourism ministry, the Top Events initiative will include a microsite and an easy to use mobile app to increase visitor awareness and participation in the over 900 events held in Jamaica each month. To qualify for listing on Top Events, event organisers must meet the predetermined criteria outlined by the TLN that guarantees continuity in the content delivery and effective data capture.

The TLN's Sports and Entertainment Network (SEN) will be the driving force behind Top Events Jamaica and the body ultimately responsible for the final selection of “Top Events” to be added to the event calendar.

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