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Ja's Tourism Linkages Network praised at Asian conference

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica's Tourism Linkages Network received positive feedback during the 9th Asian Leadership Conference (ALC), being hosted at the Walkerhill Hotel, in South Korea.

According to a release from his ministry, the minister noted that questions were posed by Asian delegates about work being done by the network.

“When I was invited to speak at the ALC, I knew there was particular interest in the many innovative initiatives we are doing locally to drive the economy through tourism. They were particularly interested in the Linkages Network, and the targeted approach it is taking to improve the tourism product and the economy.

“The key goal of the network is to encourage buying local and thereby retaining foreign exchange spending. We are continuing our push to move from 30 cents on the dollar to 50 cents,” the minister was quoted as saying.

He further stated that “In Jamaica, we recognise that leakage is a major obstacle to sustainable tourism growth in Jamaica. It prevents money from flowing back into the local economy and benefiting the people of the country. The Linkages Network with its numerous ground-breaking initiatives was created to address this concern.”

The ministry said Bartlett also discussed the need to provide much needed assistance to Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises across the world.

“I presented the delegates with our concept paper entitled 'The Global Mainstreaming of Small and Medium-Sized Tourism Enterprises'. It encourages leaders to revisit our strategies for supporting the expansion and improvement of this critical sector of the tourism market. I am hoping this will help to change the perceptions of this key group,” said Bartlett.

The minister will also participate as a panellist at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation/PATA Leaders Debate on Saturday in Gangneung.

While there, he will share his insights on the current challenges being faced by the travel and tourism industry.

The ministry said he will also use the opportunity to discuss airlift issues and will speak on the Global Centre for Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management.

The minister is accompanied by his Senior Advisor/Consultant, Dr Lloyd Waller, and his executive assistant, Anna-Kay Newell.

The team is expected to return to the island on Monday.

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