Joe Issa Supports Call to Maintain Jamaica’s Heritage Infrastructure

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Tourism guru Joe Issa, who is believed to know a thing or two about monetizing Jamaica’s heritage for the benefit of communities where they exist, has backed a call for support in maintaining the country’s heritage infrastructure.

“As a proud and respectful people we ought not to allow the one thing that distinguishes us from others, our heritage, to fall apart and eventually disappear – lost forever – with nothing to leave for the next generation.

Submitted: February 09, 2017

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Submitted: February 09, 2017

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Tourism guru Joe Issa, who is believed to know a thing or two about monetizing Jamaica’s heritage for the benefit of communities where they exist, has backed a call for support in maintaining the country’s heritage infrastructure.

“As a proud and respectful people we ought not to allow the one thing that distinguishes us from others, our heritage, to fall apart and eventually disappear – lost forever – with nothing to leave for the next generation.

“As well as for respect and preservation of our history, the maintenance of the country’s heritage infrastructure is critical in marketing the sites to the millions

of visitors to our shores, whose spend provides an income to residents in the immediate vicinity and even further away.

“Heritage tourism has grown over the years and today, it constitutes a very larger market…visitors travel all over the world just to experience the heritage of these countries, and we must be prepared to showcase ours.

“We have a very competitive product here, but it won’t do us any good if we don’t maintain and preserve our heritage sites…we can’t showcase nor monetize what is derelict,” says Issa, who supported the journey of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park to the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Issa, in an interview, was supporting a recent call by Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Olivia Grange, for stakeholders to assist the ministry in maintaining the country’s heritage sites.

The maintenance programme, which aims to ensure that the country’s heritage sites and monuments are kept in pristine condition, is to be led by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), which falls under the ministry.
“It is extremely important that, for our history, we preserve what is there and show the respect that we have for our heritage,” the JIS quoted Minister Grange as saying.

Among the heritage sites being targeted for maintenance are the 1907 Earthquake Monument in Bumper Hall, St Andrew and the 1912 Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston, which Issa says will join others such as Devon House, in enhancing the city’s offerings, as it responds to the recent accolade by the New York Times as the place of choice to visit in 2017.


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