MONTEGO BAY — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is close to finalizing a multi-destination marketing arrangement with Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Bartlett said that an agreement has already been signed with Cuba and he expects to ink a deal with Mexico before the end of July. Discussions are under way with the Dominican Republic.
“We have talked about this at length, but I can safely tell you that the multi-destination marketing and tourism strategy is picking up steam in the region,” Bartlett said.
“The moment this happens, it would mean that the four major tourism destinations of the Caribbean would have signed multi-destination agreements, certainly by December, which will bring a new opportunity into the region for collaboration,” he pointed out.
“We will also be looking at the critical implications in terms of harmonising key policies to enable greater access to the region and greater access to each other’s destinations,” he added.
“The whole issue of visa arrangements will also have to be examined. We also have to examine the matter of creating a single space so that pre-clearance arrangements could be looked at where, for example, if you arrive in Jamaica you would simultaneously be in domestic space in Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic,” he said.
Bartlett noted that the move will drive new arrivals, build volume and create greater opportunities for growth.
He said that the region has to look at innovations in travel including e-visas. “India, Australia and South Africa, for example, have been able to develop the platform that allows for visitors to go online and pay the requisite fees and get their printout visas to walk with,” he noted.
“We also have to look at this kind of innovation as we seek to build out visitor facilitation,” Bartlett added.
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