20 new marching bands for island’s cruise ports - Bartlett
Twenty marching bands are to be established across the island to enhance the entertainment and cultural offerings at the island's cruise-shipping ports.
According to Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has been mandated to establish the ensembles, which are to comprise citizens living within the immediate surroundings of the ports.
He was speaking at the welcome ceremony for the Carnival Horizon cruise vessel at the Ocho Rios Cruise Port, St Ann, on Tuesday.
"You are going to see some exciting things happening on the port on ship days. One of the things we are looking at is to bring a greater level of cultural presence, and we have given the TPDCo a mandate to develop 20 marching bands across the island and to focus more on communities that are around the ports, and these marching bands will perform on port days at the different ports of call," Bartlett said.
A TASTE OF THE CREATIVE
"We are also excited about working with the Ministry of Culture in bringing a stronger sense of cultural presentations and offerings on those days so that we are giving the visitor not just a taste of the cultural assets of Jamaica in terms of the tangible assets, but also in terms of our creative assets. And so we want to give them the music and the dance and the excitement of that element of entertainment while also taking them into the town to see the creative output of our people."
Bartlett also said that his ministry was embarking on a new data-mining strategy that would "enable us to be in contact with these passengers so that we can convert them into long-stay visitors.
Between January and August this year, Jamaica welcomed 1,239,835 cruise visitors to the island. The country is also expected to benefit from 19 weeks of stopover and cruise visitors in the winter tourist season in 2019 based on commitment from TUI and its Marella Cruise Lines.
According to the tourism minister, the strategy is important in terms of building out the overall strength and vitality of the tourism industry in Jamaica.
"We need number. Numbers is the name of the game. It is numbers that bring demand and offer an opportunity for the creative input of our people to supply on those demands," Bartlett said.