Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism has endorsed the celebration of Reggae Month 2023, which officially commenced on February 1. Reggae Month 2023 was launched on Sunday (January 29), during a Church Service at Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston.
Director, Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald Riley, who brought remarks on behalf of Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett said the celebration is one that visitors and industry players look forward to each year.
“The Ministry of Tourism and its public bodies are proud to be a part of this important venture. We are convinced that this year’s staging will be very successful and will go a far way in providing memorable experiences for all those who attend,” said Mrs McDonald Riley.
She indicated that Reggae Month is one of Jamaica’s biggest and most valuable assets.
“Like our Blue Mountain coffee and [people], it is an iconic brand that has become the defining thread in the fabric of our vibrant culture. Like these iconic brands globally, Jamaica and the sweet rhythmic sounds of reggae are synonymous,” she said.
The Director further pointed out that while many reggae ambassadors, such as the Marleys, Jimmy Cliff, Chronixx and Koffee all keep the Jamaican flag flying high internationally, it is “our music festivals which continue to attract thousands of visitors to the island each year who spend millions of dollars during their stay”.
She noted that Jamaica’s tourism industry ended the year 2022 with a total of 3.3 million visitors and US$3.6 billion in earnings.
“With reggae music increasing in global popularity, Reggae Month, like other popular music-related initiatives and events, such as Reggae Sum Fest and Rebel Salute, has been making a significant contribution to the island’s coffers through increased visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings,” said Mrs McDonald Riley.
She also used the opportunity to encourage persons to participate in as many of the Reggae Month activities as possible.
The celebration of Reggae Month began in 2008. The activities are being spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.