This past Friday, the Jamaican Tourism Board hosted a Diaspora Networking Reception to not only show appreciation to the Jamaican community, but to update them on the current tourism industry in Jamaica. Philip Rose, Northeast Regional director, stressed how important tourism is for Jamaica’s growth and how Jamaicans in other parts of the world need to participate in the industry as well.
“There are currently 340,000 Jamaicans who are directly or indirectly employed in the industry,” said Rose. “Without tourism, Jamaica’s economic landscape would be very challenging. And, Jamaicans living abroad who come home and spend their vacation time in Jamaica, that has a direct and immediate economic impact.”
The JTB Networking Reception took place at the Grace building in front of Bryant Park. With an open bar, catered Jamaican food, and giveaway prizes of stays in luxury Jamaican hotels, this event was meant to make those who invest in Jamaica feel appreciated. Jamaica Council General Alsion Wilson was also in attendance to show support for Jamaican tourism.
“A large part of our revenue that we generate in Jamaica is from the tourism sector—we are dependent on the funds,” said Wilson. “It’s not even just Jamaica, most of our Caribbean allies are dependent on tourism.”
With approximately 30 people in attendance, the intimate gathering was a place to network with fellow Jamaicans about the betterment of the country, as well as for resorts to describe their product to the community. Rose wanted to stress that he “works for the corn soup vendor” in telling the story about why he has put so much work into tourism for Jamaica. In short, Rose wants to help people with lower income jobs get better support all year round. Tourism is how Rose has provided this support, and he hopes for the industry to continually grow.