Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says data from a recent demand study shows the need for J$391.6 Billion in goods from the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The break-out shows a demand for goods of J$352 Billion for manufacturing and J$39.6 Billion for agriculture.
The tourism demand study was designed to identify the existing/potential demand in the tourism sector for goods and services across local sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and entertainment. The study is done through the Ministry’s Tourism Linkages Council.
Minister Bartlett, who officially handed over the demand study to President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) Richard Pandohie, said, “The purpose of the study is to help guide our decisions as it relates to the consumption patterns of our visitors and these figures show a very high demand for products in agriculture and manufacturing.
We want our local tourism suppliers to provide these inputs in agriculture and manufacturing so that we reduce the leakage of our earnings.”
Mr. Pandohie, who accepted the demand study, also highlighted the need to have more inputs supplied locally to reduce the leakage within tourism.
Through the Tourism Linkages Network, the Ministry of Tourism has been strengthening linkages with other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and entertainment to build the capacity of local suppliers to meet the growing demands within tourism.
“What these figures indicate is that there are many opportunities for increased linkages with local suppliers to facilitate import substitution in producing various items. The aim of the Ministry of Tourism is to foster more purchasing of local goods and services, which will reduce the imports and help to plug the leakages from importation,” said Minister Bartlett.
The study found specifically that the significant increase in hotel constructions across the island has influenced the demand for manufactured products needed to furnish these establishments.
The study also highlighted that mainly local producers were satisfying the demand for goods and services in the tourism sector, but that importation also constituted a reasonable proportion of expenditure on certain items.