The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) is the central agency mandated by the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the maintenance, development and enhancement of the tourism product. TPDCo has been in operation since April 5, 1996, and is registered as a private company under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Tourism & Entertainment. A Board of Directors oversees the company’s policies and strategic plans. The Executive Director reports to the Chairman of the Board and has a functional relationship with the Minister of Tourism & Entertainment and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism & Entertainment.
The company is designed to support government and quasi-government agencies in the development of the tourism industry, particularly by coordinating and facilitating prompt action between public and private sector interests.
Members of TPDCO’s Board are drawn from both the public and private sectors, and include representatives of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA), JAVA and each resort area. TPDCo’s Chairman is appointed by the Government.
Destination Assurance Council
Formally the Resort Boards, the Destination Assurance Councils were established in each resort area in an advisory capacity to TPDCo. These boards are legally empowered to function within certain parameters and with TPDCo’s authority.
The Resort Areas are categorized as follows:
- Kingston Metropolitan Area – covering the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew,
Thomas and St. Catherine
- South Coast – covering the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, and St. Elizabeth
up to the Ferris Crossing of Westmoreland
- Negril – covering Hanover and parts of Westmoreland through to Ferris
Crossing (the border of the South Coast Resort Area)
- Montego Bay Resort – covering the parishes of Trelawny and St. James
- Ocho Rios – covering the parishes of St. Ann and St. Mary
- Port Antonio – covering the parish of Portland.
The Resort Boards ensure:
The development, improvement and sustainability of the Tourism Product within the Resort Area
TPDCo and The Tourism Master Plan
Jamaica’s tourism development is presently being guided by the recommendations of the Tourism Master Plan, which was formulated in 2003 and which projects a timely increase in visitor arrivals and earnings up to the year 2010. The Master Plan points the industry to long-term sustainable development by the implementation of a number of strategies that bring into focus a generic vision to:
- Develop Jamaica’s competitiveness;
- Enhance the visitor experience;
- Build an inclusive industry by fostering closer integration of our people and;
- Develop and sustain the environment.
TPDCo is now implementing a comprehensive plan of action that will guide its mandate to deal with the projected increase in business over the short, medium and long-terms. The company has redefined its objectives and has strengthened and streamlined its existing organizational structure for greater efficiency. Fundamental to this strategy will be a high level of people involvement and compliance to achieve objectives in the following areas:
- Improved Product Quality
- Compliance to standards set by international benchmarks – achieved through licensing of tourism operations;
- Product Enhancement
- – Tourism training
- – Beautification
- – Health and Wellness Tourism (spas, HIV control, retirement tourism)
- – Heritage tourism
- Product Diversification
- The company acts as a catalyst, facilitator and coordinator for:
- – Development through Sports
- – Community-based development (with emphasis on culture, heritage and eco-tourism)