Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says shopping tourism has been getting much traction worldwide, and the nation is in a unique position to capitalize.
Addressing stakeholders at the Shoppes at Rose Hall in St. James on Dec. 13, Mr. Bartlett said that shopping is also a major value-added market where nearly 60 percent of visitors travel all over the world to shop.
“Shopping tourism significantly affects economic development in travel destinations across the world,” the minister noted. “In fact, a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Affiliate Members Group says it has emerged as a primary motivator for travel, with key indicators linking the prominence of retail with the performance of tourism, to the extent that tourism boards have begun to build campaigns promoting their cities as prime shopping destinations.”
He said that Jamaica has also recognized the significant impact shopping tourism has on the local economy, adding that it is imperative that the island take full advantage of the available opportunities.
“We are aware that it offers considerable potential to enhance our country’s tourism product, increase foreign exchange earnings, support the growth of local manufacturing and retail sectors and generate income and employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs and hundreds of ordinary Jamaicans,” the minister added.