Big tourism budget for creativity & culture

by Mar 2, 2022Pulse

Jamaica’s creative and cultural industries are set to receive a boost, with $31 million in support earmarked in the 2022/2023 tourism budget.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, in making the disclosure, noted that the creative and cultural industries have the potential to further bolster brand Jamaica on the global market and position the country to better capitalise on the economic benefits. He was addressing the premiere of the film ‘Link Up’ at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Western Jamaica Campus (WJC) in Montego Bay, St James, on February 27.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett

“Ideas are what drive the business I’m in. Tourism is about experiences.  It’s about bringing people from all over the world to consume the creative output of our people, and that creative output is a product of ideas,” Bartlett noted.

“So, I’m putting $31 million, this budget, into mining ideas, the management of ideas, honing ideas and converting them into practical and material things of value which add to the landscape,” he added.

The minister indicated that the Innovation and Risk Management Division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) will be scouting Jamaicans with creative “concepts and new thinking” that can further help to diversify the island’s tourism product.

He noted that creative ideas such as the locally produced ‘Link Up’, which is a romance, drama short film, are important in showcasing to the world that the island has its own “Jollywood” which is worth experiencing.

 “As a minister that’s driving innovation, my ministry has established an innovation incubator and that’s the $31 million that we’re going to spend this year on young people with ideas,” he added.

Also speaking during the event, Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Richard Vernon, noted that film tourism is a tool that can be nurtured and developed to benefit Montego Bay and other resort towns.

He pointed out that Jamaican films such as ‘The Harder They Come’ and ‘Cool Runnings’ have amassed US$300 million, which is an indicator of the potential of the local film industry.

“I support the push to have filming fully established and I support your efforts here today. Just imagine what producing quality films right here in Montego Bay could do for our local economy,” Vernon said.


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