In an effort to induce more investment in shopping and get more tourism dollars from that attraction, a new regulation will be introduced by the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism next year.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett announced yesterday that, “Cabinet is to consider the presentation shortly and we are sure that in the first quarter of next year the new Shopping Regulation and Regime will be in place.”
He was speaking yesterday at the inaugural staging of ‘Style Jamaica’, a fashion event created by the Ministry of Tourism’s Linkages Network to promote the exciting creations of Jamaican designers. The event was staged inside the Shoppes of Rose Hall mall.
With Jamaica having 4.3 million tourists last year, cruise accounted for only US$37 million of expenditure for shopping, representing three percent of the total value of the experience. According to Minister Bartlett, “Something is radically wrong with the shopping and we have to fix it.” He backed that up with the fact that “for stopover arrivals we just had about US$36 million which was about one percent of the US$3 billion that we earned from tourism last year.”
He disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance had been examining this closely “and a comprehensive review has just been completed by both ministries and new architecture for the shopping sector in Jamaica is to emerge.”
The new regime will also look at broadening the schedule of dutiable items “to allow for textile and leather and other such mediums to be used to provide the necessary articles and artefacts that are required for shopping.”
Minister Bartlett said the new Shopping Regulation and Regime “will allow us to invite the big brands to come into Jamaica. But it will also allow for us to broaden the scope of creativity within our own space so that we can produce more exciting items that will be saleable to the tourism market.”
The Tourism Minister is of the view that achieving this will allow for more people to be employed in the subsector with the revenue generated giving the country a decisive boost.
He said the ‘Style Jamaica’ activity represented part of a wider process of sensitization “to the quality of the creative outputs and the cultural assets which we have to merchandise in Jamaica.”
While setting the framework for better merchandising, Minister Bartlett also underscored the importance of attracting more investment in shopping with bigger, more exciting malls with branded stores and items in department stores.
“This is how shopping is built. It is built first of all on an integrity in the destination,” he said, adding that he wanted to give credit to the duty free shopping segment “that has built that integrity over the years so that people can rely on good quality and also to get value for their money.”