Bartlett targets religious groups for growth in tourism
Edmund Bartlett, the minister of tourism, said that Jamaica can grow visitor arrival if it also focuses on attracting faith-base groups to the country for activities such as conventions.
"Faith-base tourism is an area of discrete traffic to the destination which we have resolved to pursue in order to build out the projected five million arrivals over the next five years," Bartlett told THE STAR.
The minister, who underscored the importance of entertainment and faith based tourism, will on Friday speak at the launch of the Come Celebrate Jesus 2016 gospel concert at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites, Montego Bay.
Come Celebrate Jesus is an evening of celebration and praise for the whole family which is slated to take place on October 8, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. Various local and international artistes are expected to be in attendance, ministering songs.
Bartlett told THE STAR that the faith based tourism is a niche that the country has not been exploiting and said the upcoming event should pave the way for a major change.
"We have established a team that will be looking at building out a full fledged religious tourism sub-sector," the minister said.
Bartlett said that religious tourism is not just about faith-base groups coming to Jamaica to hold conventions. He said that it also allows for visits to various heritage sites for "religious leaders and pilgrims to reacquaint themselves with the origins of Church activities in Jamaica" in addition to study tours.