KINGSTON, Jamaica: Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says a strategy is being developed for the economic recovery of earthquake-hit Haiti, which will use elements of Jamaica’s Tourism Master Plan.
This strategy, called the Montego Bay Initiative, will position tourism as a main pillar for the economic development of Haiti.
“The model which is being used is really a model that draws heavily on the Jamaica Tourism Master Plan and therefore it makes it very easy for us to respond and to work well with it,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said Haiti has identified tourism as one of three components on which its economic restoration program would be predicated. The others are agriculture and light manufacturing industries.
He said the Haitian Tourism Authority has created a plan for the development of their industry, and that it should be adopted as the template to present to the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO) in Berlin, Germany, on March 10.
“The program will see a fusion of efforts between ourselves and, of course, the wider CARICOM initiative and…all of what is going to be done will be dovetailed, carefully, into the overall CARICOM initiative,” said Bartlett.
Former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, said CARICOM has been looking at ways in which it could be supportive of the development of Haiti’s recovery, and has also identified tourism as one of the planks.
He said tourism is an obvious element for development because it capitalizes on Haiti’s natural resources.
“Haiti is part of the Caribbean region and, therefore, the development of Haiti offers scope for inter-linkages with the tourism sector in other adjacent countries in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Bahamas and Cuba, which are the most proximate to the portions of Haiti where tourism shows the greatest potential for growth,” said Patterson. (JIS)