Jamaica Information / Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer (left standing); and Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace, interact with community members during the ‘Bring Back The Love’ intervention at the Mount Salem football field in Montego Bay on Sunday (December 10). + – Photo: Claudia Gardner Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer (left standing); and Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace, interact with community members during the ‘Bring Back The Love’ intervention at the Mount Salem football field in Montego Bay on Sunday (December 10). Story Highlights Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer, says his organisation is committed to playing a key role in the transformation of the Mount Salem community in Montego Bay. “We also want to use this as an opportunity to show that there is a chance for these individuals, some of them who are not yet working in the tourism industry, to have an avenue, a path to that kind of employment because, indeed, the Team Jamaica training is a requirement for many entities to get into that space and be able to have worthwhile employment,” he pointed out. He said that as long as the Mount Salem residents express an interest in community tourism, the TPDCo “would come in to identify what it is the community would like to unearth and showcase… in a way that the guest will want to come in”.

Tweet Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Dr. Andrew Spencer, says his organisation is committed to playing a key role in the transformation of the Mount Salem community in Montego Bay.

Dr. Spencer said the entity is providing scholarships to enable residents to participate in the Team Jamaica course, craft training and other types of self-development activities.

“We also want to use this as an opportunity to show that there is a chance for these individuals, some of them who are not yet working in the tourism industry, to have an avenue, a path to that kind of employment because, indeed, the Team Jamaica training is a requirement for many entities to get into that space and be able to have worthwhile employment,” he pointed out.

He was speaking at the “Bring Back the Love” community-building intervention at the Mount Salem football field on Sunday (December 10).

Dr. Spencer said there are opportunities for community tourism to be a key feature of Mount Salem, citing prospects for accommodation and tours via the fast-growing online marketplace, Airbnb.

He said there are many allocentric travellers across the world who would be interested in visiting Mount Salem.

Allocentric travellers are more outgoing and adventurous types, who prefer less-developed spots to crowded and typical places.

“They don’t want us to even package and commercialise and put something in a way that we think is saleable. They want to come in and see it as it is, and enjoy the real genuineness of the people,” Dr. Spencer pointed out.

He said that as long as the Mount Salem residents express an interest in community tourism, the TPDCo “would come in to identify what it is the community would like to unearth and showcase… in a way that the guest will want to come in”.

“Tourism in Jamaica is for everybody… . People want to come into the communities, and we know that Mount Salem has a lot to offer, so we really want to get the entire community really energised about tourism. We see the (tourism) growth as something that is not just to benefit one particular sector or grouping, but we want it to benefit everybody. So Mount Salem is at the top of communities that should benefit, given just how close you are to all the tourism happenings,” Dr. Spencer said.

Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr. Carey Wallace, said the organisation is committed to continuing the partnership with other State agencies and community members to sustainably develop the community.

He said the entity supports interventions that “help to keep the resort city of Montego Bay safe and seamless, and have a big impact on our tourism product”.

“We (TEF) stand ready and willing to facilitate that process. It is a collaborative effort that ensures that, on the ground, the results are achieved and we stand ready and willing to facilitate that process,” he noted.

Bring Back the Love was organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), in collaboration with the Mount Salem community and through sponsorship from TPDCo and TEF.

The fun day involved a football match, health checks and concert later in the evening. The Ministry of Health, Red Cross, the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), among other entities, were on hand to provide information to residents.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on September 1 declared Mount Salem and its environs as the first Zone of Special Operations under the Law Reform (Zones of Special Operations) (Special Security and Community Development Measures) Act.

The law seeks to contain crime while safeguarding the human rights of residents and promoting community development through social-intervention initiatives.

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