The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) has lent its support to this year’s staging of the Calabash Literary festival. Providing funds of over one million dollars, the partnership will add to the organization’s efforts of boosting community tourism in Jamaica.
The partnership with the Calabash organizers will also enable publicity for TPDCo trained and certified craft producers and artisans. This will give the local artists an opportunity to showcase and sell their work to nearly 1000 persons who are expected to attend the free festival later this year.
Speaking at the cheque handover, held at TPDCo’s headquarters in Kingston, Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director, TPDCo emphasized the importance of the organization’s involvement in a festival such as Calabash, and the leverage it will provide for community tourism in Jamaica.
“Community Tourism is the vehicle for development, and it has to be the model that we fully immerse ourselves in. We are excited to partner with the Calabash team as we work to introduce a more intellectual and artistic side of Jamaica. It is also fitting that the event will take place in Treasure Beach, which is the home of community tourism, where individuals can gain a homely and educational experience.” He said.
The hosting of the festival in Jamaica’s community tourism capital represents a model that currently forms a key part of Jamaica’s tourism product strategy; TPDCo’s role, as per the Tourism Master plan includes inclusiveness and working with local communities as a way of developing the wider tourism product.
It is envisioned that the development of community tourism, through key partnerships will communicate the diversity of Jamaica’s tourism product, by appealing to the different types of visitors who holiday in the island yearly.
The purpose of the boost of community tourism, highlighted in the organization’s mandate is also established to open avenues for economic benefit for local and small entrepreneurs who offer a unique, educational and authentic Jamaican experience.
The Calabash Festival is held at Treasure Beach on a biennial basis. This year’s staging will be held June 1-3 2018. The festival will operate under the theme “Lit up” and will feature celebrated female poets, including Jamaica’s own poet laureate Lorna Goodison.