A recent sustainable tourism project from TUI Care Foundation (TCF), delivered by the Travel Foundation and the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo), has successfully encouraged tourists visiting Montego Bay to explore and spend money outside their hotels. The aim of the project was to spread the economic benefits of tourism, increasing income for local businesses and improving opportunities for communities.
The Travel Foundation and TCF are now planning a new Jamaica-wide initiative which will further support a range of small businesses to better connect with tourists and take advantage of the opportunities that tourism brings.
Coral Purvil-Williams, Jamaica Programme Coordinator for the Travel Foundation, said: “Tourism is the main engine of growth for the Jamaican economy, but to unlock tourism’s full potential the opportunities for local businesses need to increase. Our project is helping to ensure that the communities in and around tourism resorts in Jamaica benefit.”
The recently completed project focused on increasing awareness amongst tourists of what there is to see and do in Montego Bay, as well as supporting local attractions to improve their offer. A ‘Warm Welcome’ campaign was rolled-out in the area, which included a new pocket-map and guide for visitors, as well as training for front-line hotel staff and district constables on how to encourage tourists to explore the area. Training and business support were also provided for craft traders to increase tourist footfall and spend in the Harbour Street Craft Market.
As a result
- 90,000 tourists gained access to better information about Montego Bay.
- 14,000 more tourists visited an attraction that they wouldn’t otherwise have visited.
- 400% more tourists visited the Harbour Street craft market.
TPDCo’s staff has been trained to apply the approach elsewhere and have already replicated the ‘Warm Welcome’ initiative in Ocho Rios.
According to Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director of TPDCo
“This project has helped to inspire tourists to get out and about and discover the wonderful places and attractions that we have here in Jamaica. One of the best ways to create opportunities for our communities to benefit from tourism is for visitors to spend money on excursions, taxis, restaurants, bars and souvenirs, all of which support local businesses and jobs.”
The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd. (TPDCo) is the central agency mandated by the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the maintenance, development and enhancement of the tourism product. The company is designed to support government and quasi-government agencies in the development of the tourism industry, particularly by coordinating and facilitating prompt action between public and private sector interests.
About the Travel Foundation
The Travel Foundation is a charity that works in partnership with leading tourism organizations to improve the impacts of tourism and shape a positive future for destinations. Since it was set up in 2003, it has worked in 26 popular holiday destinations around the world. Its head office is in the UK and it has a global network of project managers.