Participants in Jamaica’s Tourism Innovation Incubator whose ideas are chosen for implementation will have access to $100 million to transform those ideas into profitable projects.
“I have put $100 million in EXIM Bank for the new ideas which are converted into material things that add value,” Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett said during a welcome reception for the start of the Tech Beach Retreat at the Iberostar resort recently.
An initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Innovation Incubator was established through the Tourism Enhancement Fund to incentivize ideas that can enhance Jamaica’s tourism industry on the premise that the future will be driven by ideas which in turn drive innovation and invention.
The incubator is a business development centre for individuals such as entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that can impact the tourism sector. Its purpose is to provide a unique and highly flexible combination of services, including business support services and infrastructure. It will also nurture young entrepreneurs and support them through the early stages of development and execution.
Convinced that tourism “is driven by ideas” Bartlett said innovation will play a major role in taking Jamaica’s industry to higher levels of achievement post COVID-19.
“After the recovery started, we learnt how all the other disruptions have come that are now going to be challenging and new ideas is what we need to meet those challenges,” the minister said.
The rollout of the Tourism Innovation Incubator was accomplished with an injection of $40 million and the first 13 inductees were recently introduced to Bartlett.
“We are saying to the young people, when you have come with your ideas to the Incubator and we take you through the boot camp and your ideas have been proven to have value, then we will provide you with initial funding to convert those ideas fully into material things,” the minister said of the $100 million funding facility.