Jamaica's vibrant cultural capital, Kingston, beat out 152 entrants from 28 nations to be selected Best Creative Destination for 2023 by the jury of the 9th Creative Tourism Awards.
The award was recently presented to the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, by Caroline Couret, Director of the Creative Tourism Network®, on behalf of the International Committee, on the margins of ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show, in Germany.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett described the win as a major accolade for Kingston, which has steadily been gaining traction as a cultural and music destination. “Kingston is the unquestioned cultural heart of Jamaica and the Caribbean. We have been taking aggressive steps to position Kingston as a vibrant urban tourism destination. As a result, we are seeing a growing number of travellers choosing Kingston for its many culinary, music, art, sport and cultural offerings,” noted the Tourism Minister. “There is a good reason why Kingston was designated a UNESCO Creative City,” he added.
Minister Bartlett heaped praises on the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Senator Delroy Williams and the wider Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) for the excellent job they are doing to transform Kingston into a Destination City. “They have been doing a phenomenal job of positioning Kingston as an appealing destination city that attracts visitors through its history, culture and entertainment. Visitors get to experience a Jamaica that is so much more than sun, sea and sand,” said the Minister.
Created by the Creative Tourism Network®, an organization for the development and promotion of creative tourism worldwide, the Creative Tourism Awards aim to reward companies, projects, and destinations worldwide that encourage all forms of artistic and creative tourism. The jury that selected Kingston for the award comprises global experts in the fields of tourism marketing and creative economy.
In recognizing Jamaica’s capital as a Best Creative Destination, the jury highlighted the following values of Kingston:
• The support for artists, artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs in developing their practice and showcasing their work in a sustainable way.
• The empowerment of persons from marginalized communities to leverage their creativity, be a part of the creative development of Downtown Kingston and build profitable businesses.
• The effort to regenerate the urban environment of Downtown Kingston, using art to improve the space in which people live, work and play as well as where they think, invent and create.
• The approach focusing not only on the destination but also on the people to make the travel experience more authentic and rewarding.
The Kingston nomination was submitted by Kingston Creative, a non-profit organization whose primary goal is to transform Downtown Kingston into a city tourism destination using art, culture and technology.