Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s tourism minister, has stressed the important role that literature and the creative arts make to the country’s tourism industry.
Bartlett pointed out that the country’s capital, Kingston, is a regional cultural powerhouse, and reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to continue aiding the development of the regional creative sector.
At the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St. Andrew on Sunday, August 13, he gave a speech at the 2023 Jamaica Poetry Festival. The 13th edition was dubbed the “Arts in Action Edition”.
He emphasized the relationship between creative arts and tourism at the festival, and read an excerpt from his book published last year titled“Tourism Resilience and Recovery for Global Sustainability and Development: Navigating COVID-19 and the Future”. The minister also performed an original poem titled “Tourism’s Call, Resilience Siren Song” which cut across themes related to the pandemic and sustainability.
“Tourism is a confluence of moving parts, and our culture, food, music, art and poetry are critical to its overall success. The creative arts and tourism work hand in hand to give visitors unforgettable experiences and keep them coming back,” Bartlett said.
“As a result, the tourism ministry is serious about uplifting our creative, and through the Tourism Enhancement Fund and its Linkages Network, we have dedicated initiatives to doing just that.”
The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), event partners for the last two editions, sponsored the festival. The celebration commemorated Khalil Gibran, a prominent Lebanese American writer, as well as Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley and Harry Belafonte, two iconic Jamaicans who made substantial contributions to the international appreciation of Jamaican art and culture.
Professor Edward Baugh, Jean Lowrie-Chin, Professor Clinton Hutton, Boris Gardiner, Dr. Winsome Miller-Rowe, and event coordinator Yasus Afari were among the notable Jamaicans who performed in this year’s edition.
In order to support the Jamaica Society for the Blind’s initiatives and services aimed at enhancing the quality of life for people with vision impairments in Jamaica, a portion of the earnings will be contributed to the organisation.
“I am delighted to be at festivals like these because it gives us a statement to make. I want you to know that you are part of a global market that is now US$5 billion strong – art, culture and music. The projection for the next 15 years is that it will get to US$22 billion. My job is to try to bring you into that mix and enable Jamaica to get a piece of that action,” said Bartlett.
Source: TheAfricanDream.net and News Agencies