“Let me show you how you eat mangos the Jamaican way. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves, dig right in and not be afraid to let the juice run down your arms and get the stringy bits through your teeth.”
This description came from a role-playing exercise in one of our recent workshops in Jamaica as part of our ‘Big Up Small Business’ project, designed to help smaller businesses access the tourism supply chain. In this instance participants were demonstrating how Sam, owner of a mango farm wanting to turn it into a tourist attraction, could bring his product alive.
This TUI Care Foundation project is aimed at helping all kinds of small tourism businesses on the island: guest house owners, water sports operators, attraction and excursion providers all piled into our workshops in Negril, Treasure Beach and Port Antonia – 178 participants in total!
All were eager to learn how to find a route to market and offer guests a quality product reflecting the ‘real’ Jamaica.
As a trainer it’s just a complete joy to work with Jamaicans. Confident, vibrant, proud and massively entrepreneurial, every participant gave 100% to an action-packed day. It’s the first time I’ve ever had someone turn up to a workshop by boat, sing and dance in role-play and invent rhyming ‘tweets’: “Julie Mango – Do you want to meet her or eat her?”
Currently small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTE’s) receive less than 20% of the benefits of tourism according to UNEP reports. The Travel Foundation, TUI Care Foundation and TPDCo (Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Company) are working hard to change this.