Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett

Curtis Williams

Montego Bay, Jamaica

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With exponential growth in arrivals for its T&T style Carnival and now placed on the island’s tourism events calender, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has said the island does not want to take over T&T’s carnival but rather enhance it.

In an interview with Guardian Media, here at the Montego Bay convention centre, Bartlett said, “Jamaica is not taking away carnival, Jamaica is adding value to carnival.”

In 2019 before the pandemic, every room and Airbnb property in Kingston and environs was sold out for the days leading up to the island’s carnival, so much so that some people have to find accommodation as far away as Negril-three hours drive from Kingston.

The island’s Tourism Minister said Jamaica stumbled into Carnival but is excited and committed to hosting it and letting it be part of its tourism offering.

” Jamaica has sought of walked into the carnival arena and is literally taking it over. Our Trinidadian friends probably won’t agree with that (laughs), but I think that we have come a good way with it. It’s good because what it says is that there can be a common Caribbean cultural experience that we can take from island to island, just the same way I think that reggae has become quite a regional genre and that people all over the world engage in- so carnival can become a similar kind of global musical and dancing instrument and we look forward to that.”

This year Jamaica’s Carnival will be held from July 1 to July 10th, having been pushed back from earlier this year because of concerns about the covid 19 virus.