Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with international sustainable tourism NGO, the Travel Foundation, during the UN World Tourism Organisation’s Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism being held in Montego Bay.
The agreement establishes a framework of cooperation and collaboration which will support both organisations to work more closely on sustainable tourism initiatives in Jamaica. Their partnership will focus on increasing local economic benefits from tourism, for instance by supporting craft markets and other tourist attractions to make changes to their practices, and by encouraging visitors to explore outside their hotels.
It will build on their existing partnership, which recently launched a Warm Welcome campaign for Montego Bay. As part of the campaign, a team of trained Resort Ambassadors has been created to help visitors get the most out of Montego Bay during their stay. Initially comprised of frontline hotel staff, and soon to be joined by contract carriage drivers and district constables, Warm Welcome Resort Ambassadors will receive training and resources so that they can confidently impart insider ‘top tips’ that help promote the best of the local area.
Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director of TPDCo, said, “The Warm Welcome campaign is about utilizing our greatest asset — the passion all Jamaicans have for their place of home — and sharing this with our guests. And by encouraging people to explore beyond their hotels, local businesses and traders are more likely to benefit from the tourist spend. We intend to roll-out this best practice approach to visitor engagement in other resorts across Jamaica, with the Travel Foundation’s support.”
The Travel Foundation’s CEO, Salli Felton, said, “We know that we can achieve so much more by working with TPDCo. Their commitment and drive to build the capacity of the Jamaican people, creating new opportunities from tourism that can improve their quality of life, matches our own sustainability ethos. As well as sharing our knowledge and expertise on the Warm Welcome campaign, we’ll also be working with TPDCo to build capacity for craft traders to meet international visitor demand and support tourist attractions to improve their practices and meet sustainability criteria.”