"Tourism working for Jamaica, putting people at the centre"

By: Joseph Cunningham

MinisterE-B-SpruceUp.jpg"Join us in protecting tourism, and thereby, protecting our collective future." These words, uttered by the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism in a now very popular "Spruce Up Jamaica" advertisement, were honored at the official launch of Phase 2 of the "Spruce Up Jamaica...Nice Up Yuhself" campaign at the recent launch in Montego Bay.

The lawns of the Old Hospital, on Gloucester Avenue were transformed into a tourism haven, which, reinstated the warmth and the beauty of the much talked about, "Sweet Jamaica" of the olden days. The site at the venue was characterized by a mixture of locals, young, middle aged and old, some from the diaspora, visitors, and tourism partners and the business community, all eating, drinking, laughing together, and serving each other, all enjoying the festivities of the afternoon.

Phase 1 of the campaign focused on the physical infrastructure of the island, removing debris,washing and painting at different locations to facilitate a face lift or a "Spruce Up". Moving forward, during the current Phase 2, the microscope will be steadfast on the invaluable abilities of the individual.

During his address at the launch, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett positioned people at the centre, as this was the dominant message purveyed. "This is the time when we examine what you the individual can do," he said, "in order to make Jamaica's tourism sector one of the best in the world."

Case in point was his underlined vision for the craft sector becoming a booming one, where uniquely Jamaican items are staples in tourism development.

The Minister revealed that a recent international report confirmed Jamaica as the fourth ranked destination, preferred by travelers in the Americas.