Local Craft Producers commended TPDCO for their Kingston Craft Fair which was put on by the Craft Unit as part of efforts to provide recognition and support for local craft producers. The event which was held at the Ministry of Tourism Breezeway on Friday December 15, 2017 showcased the work of 21 craft producers who participated in the event.
The Craft Unit at TPDCo has been creating ways to bolster the local industry. Jamaica currently has approximately 10000 vendors and producers who are engaged fulltime in the craft industry. In addition, the craft industry which is a sub sector of the tourism sector assists in efforts to promoting the authenticity of Jamaica through creative means such as art and craft.
David Dobson, Senior Director in the Ministry of Tourism, at the opening of the fair mentioned the significance of the craft industry for the country’s vision 20/30 development Plan. “The plan recognizes the importance of the country’s craft sector and the Tourism Master Plan for Sustainable Development sets out that a high level of visitor satisfaction can be delivered only if host communities take pride in the product offered and responsibility for the visitor experience.” He said.
He went on further to say that craft being one of the oldest industries is the reason every country takes steps to protect its indigenous art forms.
TPDCo places great emphasis on the importance of producing items that are in keeping with trends, yet communicates the Jamaican culture and displays a high standard.
“When people travel they want to take home something that reminds them of the country they visit and they want something that is authentic and unique to the country. The Government therefore is committed to revitalizing the craft subsector.” He added
The Craft Fair along with other TPDCo lead initiatives such as training programmes, give craft producers the opportunity to hone their skills while making improvements where necessary. This is believed to help the producers to respond to the ever changing trends in tourism and appeal to buyers’ individual tastes.
Devon Garcia, a participating craft producer has been producing cedar carvings for over forty years. He has since ventured into the art of papier mache. Mr. Garcia praised TPDCo for the Craft Fair. He mentioned that an event of this nature although it does not yield immediate earnings at all times, allows producers to form relationships with potential buyers, thereby generating exposure and repeat business.
The Kingston leg of the fair concluded the series of craft fairs coordinated by TPDCo.