KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says his ministry is focused on driving the capability of Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs) offering goods and services within the tourism sector.
This commitment was underscored at today’s handover of J$350 million to the EXIM Bank from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to facilitate financing facility for these local suppliers, a release from Bartlett’s ministry disclosed.
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This figure represents the ultimate tranche of the quantity supplied by TEF to the EXIM Bank, the ministry said.
Speaking at the handover ceremony Bartlett said, “a lot more than 80 % of tourism is driven by SMTEs but only 20 % of tourism resources get back to them and section of that reason is capacity, small players have to grow, they have to expand. They will have ideas and tremendous capabilities however they lack capital.
So to greatly help these small suppliers build the ability to compete and benefit more from the worthiness change we partnered with the EXIM Bank and put J$1Billion to be on loan in their mind.”
The loan facility offers funding to Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises from the certain specific areas of gastronomy, small accommodations, shopping network, manufacturing, services, wellness and spa, domestic tours and car rentals.
One of the beneficiaries of the loan scheme, ESB Restaurant and Hotel Supplies highlighted that having accessed financing through the facility, their business saw a 40 % upsurge in sales in the initial year and a 75 % upsurge in the 2nd year.
“Once we are speaking with the hotels about utilizing more of the neighborhood goods and services supplied by our suppliers, we must build the capability of our Jamaicans to supply those ongoing services in order that they haven’t any excuse.
We want our SMTEs to learn that the near future for demand of supplies for the sector will hit the roof as within the next three years we shall bring over 7000 new rooms on stream. Jamaica’s tourism is approximately to see unprecedented grow but to go there we should take individuals with us also to do so we should build their capacity to provide on these demands,” Bartlett added.