The next big idea

by Sep 29, 2022Pulse

The tourism ministry is banking on innovative Jamaicans to come up with the next big idea that will help the country hold onto its place as one of the leading destinations in the world.

The Tourism Innovation Incubator will be launched on September 30 as part of a long list of activities being staged to mark Tourism Awareness Week. It’s being spearheaded by the ministry’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and according to TEF Executive Director Dr Carey Wallace, it will provide an opportunity for brilliant minds who want to push Brand Jamaica to even higher heights.

“The Tourism Innovation Incubator is our minister’s initiative that we at TEF will be executing to ensure that Jamaicans in the tourism space, or those wanting to be in the tourism space, who have ideas or innovations, have an opportunity to develop these initiatives,” Wallace tells the Jamaica Observer’s

“This is an avenue through which we are going to sponsor and facilitate these ideas in coming to fruition. Moving it from that stage where it is just an idea in somebody’s head to where it can be sold to entrepreneurs or private investors,” he adds.

Noting that while this is TEF’s first innovation incubator there have been many in other segments of the society, the executive director is optimistic that the initiative will be a success.

“It makes sense that our people are the ones coming up with new and better ways in delivering on our hospitality services. We shouldn’t just have to rely on new products and services coming from overseas — we are one of the global leaders in tourism,” Wallace reasons.

Wallace…it makes sense that

TEF, he says, is on a mission to find earth-shattering innovations in Jamaica.

“We have seen what Airbnb has done — the disruption it has caused — and that is an innovation that came up just in the 2000s. Whether it be… new recipes, sauces, inventions or swipe cards for the door; there is just so much that can advance the industry and make it more efficient,” says Wallace.

“It can create entrepreneurial opportunities and a lot of wealth. Going back to that Airbnb example, those fellows are billionaires, so why couldn’t that be an innovation coming out of Jamaica? This Tourism Innovation Incubator will now be a way of providing that opportunity to all these young, brilliant minds here in Jamaica,” he continues.

He is looking forward to the impact that ideas brought to life in the incubator will have on the tourism sector locally and internationally.

“We are bound to have products and services that are game changers globally that will come out of this,” he tells

The official call for applicants will begin two months after the incubator’s September 30 launch, Wallace says, as the team works out the logistics of the initiative.


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