Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Use your tech to boost Jamaica’s tourism - junior tourism minister

Published:Tuesday | October 2, 2018 | 12:04 AMChristopher Thomas

 

WESTERN BUREAU: 

Junior Tourism Minister Bryanna Hylton wants young people to make full use of their access to technology, including smartphones and social media, as a means of boosting Jamaica’s tourism product and promoting the country to attract potential visitors.

Hylton made the call while participating in a Tourism Action Club forum as part of the tourism ministry’s celebration of World Tourism Day in Montego Bay, St James last week Thursday. The forum was attended by members of Tourism Action Clubs from several schools across the island.

In her address to the students, Hylton suggested that young people could advertise Jamaica as a tourism destination through the creation of social media applications and online pages and websites.

“Everybody has a phone, and nine out of 10 teenagers have at least two devices,” said Hylton. “We can use these devices to build our tourism economy and bring more foreign exchange into our country, which will mean more jobs for everyone.” 

“We can make apps [social media applications] and websites, making hash-tags and creating blogs, and we can use our platforms and attract more people, because this is the digital era. Persons would see your posts and they would say, ‘I should plan my vacation around Jamaica.”

Technological development

Hylton also noted that Jamaica’s tourism experience can be enhanced if  young people are willing to apply their creative energies into developing the product through technology.

“With the use of technology, small developing countries like Jamaica can boost themselves and take a big leap into the economy of tourism. Jamaica makes a lot of money from tourism every single day, and about 20 to 30 percent of Jamaicans make a living from tourism,” said Hylton. “We can use our devices to bring more persons into our country and enhance our experience, for we are small Jamaicans making a big difference.”

Thursday’s forum was held in observance of this year’s World Tourism Day theme, “Tourism and the Digital Transformation,” which coincided with the tourism ministry’s efforts to raise awareness about the increasing use of technology in the tourism sector.