Bartlett promises to build on Jamaica Rum Festival
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the Jamaica Rum Festival will help build Jamaica's gastronomy industry. (Photo: Marlon Reid)
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has committed resources to position the Jamaica Rum Festival (JRF) as an international product that will bring visitors in droves to the island.
Speaking at the launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival at Devon House in Kingston on Wednesday, Bartlett said the festival will help build Jamaica's gastronomy industry.
“We want the Jamaica Rum Festival to be a product, not an event, so from this day forward, all the infrastructure required to make this festival a product, will be put in place with the support of the ministry,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett said the tourism ministry will ensure that “every year, we can go to the market, package this festival with rooms, with seats and bring the visitors to Jamaica to consume this critical asset that is from the heart and soul of the Jamaican people."
A bartender serves Appleton Estate Reserve Blend at the Jamaica Rum Festival. (Photo: Marlon Reid)
According to Bartlett, Jamaica is keeping more of the US dollar spent by visitors to the island, because of events like the Jamaica Rum Festival.
The tourism minister said that when he took over as minister in 2016, Jamaica was retaining 30 cents on the dollar, but now retains 40.8 cents on the dollar, which is an increase of 30 percent - the highest in the Caribbean.
He said this is a result of the tourism product tapping into the passions of people, with gastronomy being the number one reason that 88 per cent of people across the world travel to other destinations.
According to Barlett, this is the reason the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the Ministry of Tourism have contributed $6 million towards the Jamaica Rum Festival.
Loop Lens: Jamaica Rum Festival 2020 launch
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During the two days of the Jamaica Rum Festival on February 29 and March 1, various seminars will be held to enlighten visitors on how best to enjoy rum, according to Marsha Lumley, marketing director for Jamaica and the Caribbean at J Wray and Nephew.
Master blender Joy Spence and senior blender of David Morrison will be leading J Wray and Nephew’s seminars with the other rum purveyors in Jamaica holding seminars as well.
The festival will also have local- made products from craftsmen, food purveyors and artisans, which Lumley says will be a truly immersive experience for those who attend.