The Capital of Jamaica has been elected World Best Creative Destination by the jury of the 9th Creative Tourism Awards, made up of international experts in tourism marketing and creative economy, who had the difficult task of selecting the winners among 152 applications, from 28 countries.
The award was delivered to Hon. Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism by Caroline Couret, director of the Creative Tourism Network®, on behalf of the International Committee.
The application was presented 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. To achieve this, the project engages Creatives and the use of cutting-edge technology to develop a cultural tourism product that is appealing, unique and distinguishes the city from other destinations.
The Kingston Creative project shows an inclusive approach in terms of tourism featuring not just the art and culture, but also facilitating meaningful interactions and engagement between tourists and the artists, the local entrepreneurs, and the community residents in order to develop a healthy, creative ecosystem that will drive sustainable, social and economic growth in Downtown Kingston.
More specifically, the Jury of the Creative Tourism Awards highlighted the following values of Kingston:
- The support for artists, artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs to help them developing their practice and showcasing their work in a sustainable way.
- The empowerment of persons from marginalized communities so that they can leverage their creativity, be a part of the creative development of Downtown 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.
Created by the Creative Tourism Network® – organization for the development and promotion of creative tourism worldwide – these prestigious Awards aim to reward companies, projects, and destinations that foster creative tourism in all its forms and vehiculate its positive values. The main criteria is the use of creativity to design unique experiences and to create an ecosystem at a local scape.
For Caroline Couret, “Kingston Creative seizes the opportunity to enhance its tourist model and to convert it into a lever of sustainable development, based on inclusiveness, communities’ empowerment, and intangible heritage recovery.”