Tourism Ministry to use food festivals to market Jamaica
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the ministry will be using food festivals as a strategic marketing tool to tap into the lucrative gastro-tourism market.
Bartlett noted that 88 per cent of tourists travel to destinations primarily to partake of the local food, and with Jamaica having one of the finest cuisines in the world, this will be utilised in attracting more visitors to the island.
"We are going to bring people from all over the world to delight themselves in Jamaican food and delicacies," he said.
Bartlett pointed out that Jamaica's jerked cuisine has now become "the stuff of legends".
"Our jerked chicken, the jerked pork... people talk about it all over the world. Immediately after you talk about Jamaica, after Bob Marley and Usain Bolt, it's jerk," he said.
"Our Blue Mountain Coffee, our spices, our rum, our seafood...and all those edibles that we have been delighting the palates of the world with, we are going to celebrate and build out products around them so they can be drivers to bring more visitors to Jamaica and earn more money for our people," Bartlett added.
He noted that in addition to serving as a source of income for local communities, food festivals bring residents together, while instilling within them a sense of pride in showcasing local delicacies to foreigners.
"Not only do festivals attract visitors, thus stimulating tourism, they also promote growth and the visibility of other businesses in a town or region. I want to sit with organisers and work out the logistics where we can do these things the right way, where the events can become a fixture on the national calendar," Bartlett said.