First Look

Tourism Ministry releases Demand Study

Jamaica Information Service | 2016-02-04 00:00:00

A Tourism Demand Study, designed to create a framework for effective planning and to identify demand for certain goods and services within the tourism sector, has been released by the Tourism and Entertainment Ministry.

The $8.6 million study was conducted by the Centre for Leadership and Governance (CLG) at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JISF).

According to the study, the demand for goods and services within the tourism sector is mainly being satisfied by local suppliers.

“The study shows that local distributors are the predominant suppliers of processed foods, fixtures and fittings and paper products to hotels. Their demand for office and stationery supplies, chemicals, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals is shared by local distributors and foreign suppliers,” said Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill.

He was addressing a media briefing hosted by the Tourism Linkages Council on February 2, at Sagicor Bank, in New Kingston.

According to the Minister, importation still constitutes a reasonable proportion of expenditure on some specific products, which results in monetary leakages.

“The annual leakage, due to imports, amounts to $65.4 billion in the manufacturing sector and between $1.6 billion and $5billion in the agricultural sector,” he added

Dr. McNeill informed that the  Ministry is paying keen attention to this, because it serves to underscore the fact that there are tremendous opportunities for increased linkages with local producers.

He further informed that he will be working closely with various agencies and ministries and with local suppliers to address the constraints and limitations, and will be taking into consideration the recommendations of the study to assist suppliers in meeting the demand of the sector.

“It makes sense to target agriculture and manufacturing to reduce imports and to increase the use of locally grown fruits and vegetables and locally produced goods and services,” the Minister said.

He assured that with proper planning and smart linkages with the local economy, the leakages can be reduced in order to retain economic benefits for tourism.

Persons wanting to access the demand study may do so through the Tourism and Entertainment Ministry’s website.

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