SMEs are the real drivers of the tourism industry, says Bartlett

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the Government is committed to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they are major contributors to the success of the sector.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett

“The small and medium enterprises are the real drivers [of the industry]. Eighty per cent of the experiences of tourism around the world is driven by SMEs,” he noted.

Garner more profit

Bartlett was speaking to journalists after a tour of the Hampden Wharf’s Artisan Village site in Falmouth, Trelawny, recently.

“Eighty per cent of the experiences of tourism around the world is driven by SMEs.”

— Bartlett

He noted that the project is in keeping with the administration’s thrust to ensure that SMEs garner more profit from tourism.

“The anomaly here is that only 20 per cent of the returns from tourism goes to that group, and so part of what we are trying to do in Jamaica is to help redress that imbalance by providing these facilities and providing training and capital for them,” he said.

“We want to make sure that all of this is understood within the broader objective, vision and mission of creating prosperity.”

Artisan village

The artisan village, which will be the first on the island, forms part of the US$5.7-million Hampden Wharf Development Project being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

The village will consist of 47 shops with five themed restaurants and bars, 12 mini stalls, 18 artisan shops, and 12 major shops on 1.6 hectares of the land owned by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ).