MONTEGO BAY, St James — A recently completed study by The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has revealed that there is a $40 billion demand for agricultural supplies in the tourism sector.
The revelation was made by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who added that the study also revealed that there is also a $2 billion demand for manufactured goods within the sector.
But the tourism minister was quick to point out that total sector demand could be as high as $100 billion as the study did not include the sector’s demand for ICT services, insurance, banking, health services, transportation, entertainment, “so there are a whole range of other items which we have not yet entered into this demand”.
“We realise that the demand is not going to be $42 billion as in the case of these two discreet areas, but perhaps even up to $100 billion. So the capacity for tourism to be the real driver of economic growth in these sectors now looms large,” Bartlett remarked.
He was delivering the main address at Jamaica All Island Chambers of Commerce quarterly luncheon forum, held at the S Hotel in St James on Saturday.
The tourism minister noted that the study by The UWI indicated that 75 per cent of demand on the agricultural side, the highest level of demand is for poultry meat and seafood, while processed food, followed by vegetables, account for the lion’s share of the demand for manufactured goods.
“The issue also in that discussion is whether or not it is locally manufactured or locally sourced and that’s another discussion that I have to engage at another point,” Bartlett argued.