WORLD TOURISM DAY 2017
“Sustainable Tourism – A tool for development”
It was as early as the 1700s that Jamaica started what would become one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for the country. An industry that allows us to share our bold culture with the rest of the world; One that would propel us into gaining recognition from persons of all walks of life and cement the view that Jamaica is “the home of the alright.”
September 27th is World Tourism Day, a day when we focus on the achievements of the tourism industry and highlight the ways in which we can maintain a high ranking and superior product; but the focus is not only to highlight the creative ways we can sell Jamaica and position ourselves as the destination of choice, but to discover and share with the country and the world how tourism can impact the economy, facilitate social development and contribute to positive environmental practices.
Tourism has the potential to improve the lives of people. In our own country, we have seen how tourism has positively impacted the lives our people and has helped to facilitate togetherness. Community tourism in particular, provides an opportunity for individuals to gain employment through these community-based enterprises and to gain in-depth knowledge about our country and culture, thereby deepening the love we already have. Recently, TPDCo hosted nine Community Tourism Enterprises (CTEs) at a training session to discuss the best practices for operating a business of such nature, as it our aim that we ensure that our visitors and locals gain the best experience when they visit these CTEs.
Sustainable Tourism is not limited to providing employment; we understand the importance of knowledge and education which is why the Team Jamaica Programme was created. The interactive and exciting training sessions leave each participant with a deeper love for the country and the enthusiasm to contribute and put their best put forward as they pass this knowledge to our visitors and locals; our heritage and culture is filled with unique traces of our history which is all the reason why the programme was created, to ensure the information shared with the public is accurate.
And while learning is valuable, so is our health. Human resource is the most valuable asset to the country, if there is no one to operate and lead or make contributions of any kind, then it would be futile for the country to exist. The HIV programme at TPDCo which is led by the training unit highlights the importance of a healthy population and a workforce and risk-free environment, where our locals and visitors can enjoy the experience without fear.
And finally, we contribute to the sustainability of the product by ensuring that the places you visit are safe and suitable to spend your vacation. We consider the environment and advocate for its care and maintenance. Additionally, the licensing of the places you love to visit and revisit guarantees that you will have a gratifying experience.
Remember, the sun, sea and sand are glamorous and offer a fulfilling experience, but tourism goes far beyond to ensure that the product is one that is “safe, secure and seamless,” which is all the reason why we advocate for sustainability through economic, social, environmental and cultural development.