Jamaica has received international recognition as a “Tourism Location of the Future” by the Financial Times’ fDi intelligence magazine. Out of the 43 countries assessed by the publication, Jamaica received four Editor’s Choice specialist awards for the country’s efforts in Medical Tourism, Community Tourism, Accommodation Upgrades and Shovel Ready Programmes, which prepackage property investments for the tourism sector.
The report stated that Jamaica has completed major improvements to its tourism product and investment opportunities. fDi intelligence noted that the country was making strategic decisions to develop the tourism sector by attracting visitors to more communities in Jamaica, increasing and improving the accommodation available for tourists, and finalizing a draft policy recommendation for Jamaica’s medical tourism sector.
The report also recognized Jamaica for its Shovel Ready Investment Programme (SRIP), which is managed by the country’s trade and investment promotion agency, JAMPRO, as well as the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA). The fDi Editors gave Jamaica the award, “in recognition of its ‘Shovel Ready’ investment programme, which aims to offer investors pre-packaged opportunities allowing the fast-tracked development of hotels and facilities for the tourism sector.” One of the initiative’s recent highlights was the Karisma Hotels and Resorts investment, which will lead to the construction of 4,000 new hotel rooms in Llandovery, St. Ann.
Responding to the report, JAMPRO President Diane Edwards said she was elated to see Jamaica receive acclaim for its tourism performance, as the country is in the process of finding different avenues to diversify the sector.
Ms. Edwards said, “We are pleased that Jamaica continues to receive such significant and well respected accolades for its tourism product, not just regionally, but on the global stage. These awards let us know that we are heading in the right direction, and they reinforce investors’ confidence in our country. From JAMPRO’s perspective, we believe that Jamaica can expect more achievements if we continue to focus on creating new experiences in the sector through specialty areas such as medical and community tourism. JAMPRO will continue its work to develop the sector, and as such, we are currently looking for opportunities to increase tourism investment in Portland, St. Mary and on the South Coast of Jamaica.”