Edmund Bartlett
**FILE** Minister of Tourism of Jamaica Edmund Bartlett attends the 'Ministerial Segment' meeting held within the third UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture at Lutfi Kirdar Congress Hall in Istanbul, Turkey on December 3, 2018. (Photo by Erhan Elaldi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said Jamaica and Kenya have agreed to collaborate in the area of tourism as the two countries seek to strengthen their hospitality sectors, Caribbean News Weekly reported on Sept. 3. Bartlett said the partnership will entail collaboration between the Montego Bay Convention Centre and the Kenyatta International Convention Centre that followed recent talks with the chief executive officer of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Nana Gecaga.

According to a statement, with both countries having a keen interest in MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions), Bartlett said one of the key points in the talks was intended to be “a movement when we begin to codify, if not solidify the connection between the Montego Bay Convention Centre and the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.”

“We are the location in the Caribbean for big meetings, exhibitions and incentive activities, as Kenya is in Eastern Africa, so we think that synergy exists and that collaboration will inure to the benefit of all,” Bartlett said.

Gecaga said the twinning of the two convention centers is a tangible step in achieving that objective.

“I think definitely there’s a lot of synergies that can take place,” she said, pointing to the need for Jamaica to be part of an association that will pave the way for it to host major award ceremonies and other events.

She said this will allow for a partnership in which Kenya bids for a major convention with a key factor being the ability to offer Montego Bay as a rotating host. Among other proposals she identified were having an exchange program and being proactive in creating events. Jamaica and Kenya established relations in 1976. Governments of both nations have agreed to hold regular dialogue on trade, agriculture, tourism and health.

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