MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says participants in the Tourism Innovation Incubator will have access to J$100 million (One Jamaica dollar=US$0.008 cents) to transform the ideas that have been for implementation into profitable projects.
The Tourism Innovation Incubator is an initiative of the Ministry of Tourism, established through the Tourism Enhancement Fund to incentivize ideas that can enhance Jamaica’s tourism industry on the premise that the future will be driven by ideas which in turn drive innovation and invention.
It is a business development center for individuals such as entrepreneurs who have innovative ideas that can impact the tourism sector. Its purpose is to provide a unique and highly flexible combination of services, including business support services and infrastructure. It will also nurture the young entrepreneurs and support them through the early stages of development and execution.
“I have put $100 million in EXIM Bank for the new ideas which are converted into material things that add value,” Bartlett said, adding that tourism is “driven by ideas.
Bartlett said post COVID-19, innovation will play a major role in taking Jamaica’s industry to higher levels of achievement.
“After the recovery started, we learnt how all the other disruptions have come that are now going to be challenging and new ideas is what we need to meet those challenges,” said Bartlett, with the authorities here indicating that the rollout of the Tourism Innovation Incubator was accomplished with an injection of J$40 million and the first 13 inductees introduced to Bartlett.
“We are saying to the young people, when you have come with your ideas to the Incubator and we take you through the boot camp and your ideas have been proven to have value, then we will provide you with initial funding to convert those ideas fully into material things.”
Bartlett said that the function of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre located at the University of the West Indies (UWI) here, is to anticipate disruptions, mitigate and manage them to recover quickly and thrive.
He said that the eight satellite centers already established across the globe, “will be followed by eight more in Bosnia, Herzegovina; Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia, Japan, and at the Sofia University in Bulgaria by the middle of next year.”
“The purpose of that is to bring young people across the globe to start thinking about one subject called tourism resilience and how to build capacity to respond to disruptions, to bounce back fast and to thrive.”