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Gov’t Assessing Economic Impact Of Tourism

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Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said that the Government and tourism stakeholders are examining the contribution of the sector to the country’s development through several studies.

“At present, our Ministry is conducting a study of the economic impact of the tourism sector, which is scheduled for completion in April of this year,” he informed.

This, he said, is in addition to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica’s (STATIN) Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is tool to measure the contribution of the sector; and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s (JHTA) study on travel and tourism as a driver of economic development.

The Minister, who was addressing an Investments and Capital Markets conference on Wednesday Jan. 25 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, said the research “will go a long way towards providing the empirical evidence and the data that we need to assist the Government and the private sector in designing the appropriate policies that can steer this high growth, high earnings sector to the benefit of the economy and the wider society”

He noted however that while these studies were important tools in measuring the contributions of the industry, more statistical information is needed to guide the development of the industry.

To this end, he assured that the Government is working to have local travel and tourism statistics readily available, to provide a truer picture of the sector’s growth and contributions.

Hosted by the Jamaica Stock Exchange, the three-day regional conference, now in its seventh year, is being held under the theme: ‘Forging Alliances: Opportunities Amidst the Crises’. Minister McNeill spoke on the topic: ‘The Tourism Sector: Help or Hindrance to Employment and the Agricultural Sector?’

Geared towards the business community, the conference focuses on areas of local, regional and global interest by discussing how economies can be positioned to capitalise on opportunities presented and how organisations can facilitate the growth and development of countries.

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