Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Government will continue to establish policies and programmes to boost tourist arrivals and earnings, through Music and Entertainment.
In a speech delivered by Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Godfrey Dyer, at a graduation ceremony for the second batch of entertainment workers under the DJ Academy Capacity Building Training Programme for disc jockeys in hotels, on October 30 in Montego Bay, Mr. Bartlett said these initiatives will be driven through the Tourism Linkages Sports and Entertainment Network.
The Minister argued that the entertainment industry has “tremendous growth potential”.
“Jamaica is picking up the tempo and leveraging the big pull factor of our local music to attract more visitors to our island and engage them in new experiences. This is why the DJ Academy programme for hotel DJs and entertainment staff is so important, as we seek to embrace the entertainment offerings of our hotels and attractions,” the Minister said.
He further noted that music and music festivals are great avenues to diversify Jamaica’s tourism offerings, while boosting the local and national economy.
“Music is the heartbeat of our culture. There is a clear synergy between music and tourism. Millions of people are travelling the world annually to enjoy music events and explore new destinations.
Here in Jamaica, particularly in Montego Bay, we know first-hand the pull of music festivals. Some $1 billion was generated by last July’s Reggae Sumfest,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He encouraged the disc jockeys to use the newly acquired knowledge and training to become entertainment and cultural ambassadors for Jamaica.
“Sometimes you are introducing visitors to Jamaican music for the first time. These experiences can leave lasting impressions. It is incumbent on you to ensure they are good ones,” he said.
For his part, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson, lauded the training initiative, noting that disc jockeys and entertainment workers are integral to the tourism industry.
“It is the DJs and the entertainment coordinators that maintain a good vibe and high energy levels of happy music for the majority of the time. There is no question about the natural ability of our people to play music. It is commendable that you have taken the route of training and certification,” he said.
Forty disc jockeys and entertainment workers from 10 hotels and attractions graduated from the Training Programme. The participants also received Team Jamaica certification.
The training programme is an initiative of the Tourism Linkages Sports and Entertainment Network, aimed at improving the cadre of local entertainment providers in the industry.