Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett is calling on private sector interests to take greater advantage of the growing rum tourism niche market in order to generate higher growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings for Jamaica, in the post-COVID-19 era.
“Rum tourism is on the rise as a growing number of travelers make distilleries and rum festivals central to their holiday itineraries, and Jamaica has an excellent rum product – premium brands and historic distilleries. Taking greater advantage of this trend will allow us to generate higher growth rates in both visitor arrivals and earnings,” said Bartlett.
“It is an opportunity for us to tap into that part of the international market that is excited about rum consumption and plays perfectly into Jamaica’s strength as a global leader in premium rums,” he added.
“Down the road, when the pandemic is behind us and travel restrictions lifted, I would like to see the creation of a thematic rum route that takes visitors on a sensory journey to all of the island’s distilleries, where they can immerse themselves in our fascinating rum heritage while enjoying our award-winning spirits,” Mr. Bartlett expressed.
Minister Bartlett also believes that the rum tourism offering can be marketed as a multi-destination experience that would allow travelers to enjoy “Havana Club in Cuba, Mount Gay Eclipse Gold in Barbados, and our world-famous Appleton right here in Jamaica. The Caribbean is widely recognized as the birthplace of rum; let us use this to our advantage.”
The Minister was speaking recently during the virtual launch of the third staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival, which is slated to take place on March 27. Appleton Estate will be staging the annual event in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
The Jamaica Rum Festival event will be staged digitally this year, in adherence to COVID-19 protocols and will include trade education seminars, entertainment, virtual rum tours and exhibits.
“By pivoting to the digital space, we get to share Jamaica’s excellence in rum, food, art and music with a much larger global audience of rum enthusiasts, producers and industry professionals. I am sure many overseas patrons watching online will be enticed to come here as soon as possible for a taste of Jamaica’s rum culture,” said Minister Bartlett.