Bigging up small business

Meet Sam.  Sam is a successful mango farmer in Jamaica, who is now diversifying into tourism, hoping to sell accommodation and excursions to international tourists.  With a great location, a signed tour of the farm, short guided walks, and a cooking demonstration on offer, plus a booming tourism industry that brings over four million international visitors to the country each year, Sam has a great opportunity to make a successful business.  But what Sam doesn’t have is experience of, or access to, the tourism market.

Sam and his business are in fact a fictional case study designed by the Travel Foundation as part of training for micro, tourist-facing businesses in Jamaica –  part of a TUI Care Foundation initiative to ‘Big Up Small Business’.  Last month, over 250 people running micro businesses completed this training which aims to provide them with new opportunities to access the tourism market, including understanding how to meet international requirements and market themselves to tourists.


Jamaica Big-up workshops

Businesses involved include attraction and excursion providers including farmers and water sports operators, accommodation providers including guest houses, B & Bs and villas. The training took place during a series of events run by Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Co and covers everything from how to appeal to visitors to health and safety and marketing and promotion.

“These small and micro businesses represent an important part of our economy.  With the right conditions they can flourish, but business owners need the opportunity, skills and knowledge to access our thriving visitor economy. It’s our aim to help them to bridge that gap so that they can be part of Jamaica’s amazing international tourism offer.” Said Coral Purvil Williams, Jamaica Programme Coordinator for the Travel Foundation.


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