Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is encouraging hoteliers islandwide to utilise more local produce in meals prepared for their guests.
He was addressing the press launch for the official signing of a hotel management agreement between the Amaterra Jamaica Group and Marriott International, at the Hard Rock Café in St. James on Wednesday (November 13).
Mr. Shaw argued that the island “must get to a point where tourists are fed with predominantly Jamaican produce, so [that] we can have more value added back into the economy and back into the lives and livelihoods of Jamaicans”.
He pointed out that the tourism industry’s continued growth presents additional opportunities for linkages with the agricultural sector.
In this vein, the Minister indicated his endorsement of plans by Amaterra to incorporate an agricultural component in the project, which will bolster the value chain and facilitate the integration of both the tourism and agricultural sectors.
“The intention is to supply the fruits and vegetables that the hotels will need, and to eventually expand this across the north coast. This integrated approach is indicative of the thinking that is needed to bring about true economic benefits to the communities in which the project is located and, of course, in the country,” Mr Shaw underscored.
The partnership will see Marriott bringing its first all-inclusive property to the island.
- Related: Major hotel to be built in Trelawny
The project, to be sited in Trelawny, will be Amaterra’s flagship development and will comprise 800 rooms initially, and two miles of white-sand beach.