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The Tourism Linkages Network (TLN) Was Established As An Initiative To Increase The Tourism Sector’s Consumption Of Goods And Services That Can Be Competitively Sourced Locally

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“The principle of establishing the linkages network is first of all to identify why people travel. The study identified five reasons why tourists travel. These areas are gastronomy where they come to enjoy local foods, shopping, health and wellness, entertainment and sports and then there is knowledge where people travel for learning and seminars.

These things are owned by people in the destination and when they come and buy these things the money is spent here. We know we don’t produce everything, because we don’t grow rice or wheat, but we grow fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas and yams, we can then do canning like for agro-processing to produce things like jams and jellies, manufacturers can produce sheets and blankets which will also help to retain more of the money in Jamaica.

Since the study, the government has been giving incentives for those interested in producing for the tourism sector and extending financing to facilitate ventures. We were able throughout that process to increase the retention of the tourism dollar from 25 cents in 2010 to 40 cents in 2019. And at 40 cents we are 20 cents away from the best-performing destination for tourism dollar retention in the world which is India, which retains 60 cents of its tourism earnings.

In the Caribbean, the country retaining the highest level of tourism dollar is the Dominican Republic which retains 50 cents out of every dollar its tourism sector earns. That country earns about US$8 billion from tourism which means US$4 billion is retained that country. Jamaica’s tourism retention rate can increase from 40 cents of every dollar to 50 cents if Jamaican farmers and manufacturers, entertainers and retailers and knowledge producers ramp up their offers to the sector which boasts 32,000 rooms and is set to welcome over 3 million stop over tourists this year.

The Tourism Linkages Network (TLN) was established as an initiative to increase the tourism sector’s consumption of goods and services that can be competitively sourced locally. Delivering billions in retained earnings over the years, the body said it remains committed to ensuring that there is a reduction in the purchasing gap between tourism and other sectors.”

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in an interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper recently.

From leakages to linkages

Leadership Voices

We Will Not Be Like Blockbuster And Kodak.

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“While some people have a problem for every solution, we know there’s a solution for every problem and we also know that there’s the seed of greater opportunity within every challenge. We have experienced business growth in recessions, we have withstood many crises, including the 2008 global financial crisis. Following the 2010 Jamaica Debt Exchange, our bank became the leading financial institution in Jamaica based on profitability, notwithstanding significant loss in income as a result of the restructuring of Government of Jamaica debt. We continue to innovate and transform. We will not be like Blockbuster and Kodak. We are committed to embracing external trends to disrupting ourselves rather than being disrupted.”
NCBFG President and CEO Patrick Hylton

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NCBFG Will Be Focusing Heavy On Executing Its Digital Roadmap

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“Accelerating our digital capabilities enables growth which allows us to confront a market environment which is less than stable, decrease costs and allow us to progress as a data-and-insights-driven organisation. Technology allows us to do more with less, and it is felt that investment in technology is actually a deflationary course in an inflationary economy and environment. On the value of technology to reduce costs NCBFG will be focusing heavy on executing its digital roadmap for the remainder of the financial year.”
NCBJ CEO Septimus Blake

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We Have A Fair Amount Of Resilience To Any Economic Downturn

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“On the asset side, because the life, health and pension (LHP) business holds a tremendous amount of assets as reserves against liabilities, there is exposure to a drop-in asset values due to an economic downturn. However, it must be noted that an insurance company operates both on the asset side of its balance sheet and the liabilities side. Through our actuaries, we have developed a lot of technology to match those and our liabilities so that downward shifts in asset values to a significant degree are dampened by a commensurate downward shift in liability values. So, all in all, we have a fair amount of resilience to any economic downturn.”
Guardian Holdings Limited CEO Ravi Tewari

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Leadership Conversations

What’s Happening Here Is That, Given The Uncertainty Looking Ahead, We Continue To See It Prudent To Focus On Maintaining Capital Levels.

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“I think we all accept that these are unusual times. We keep talking about the idea of the pandemic, the crises that face us and at the end of it all, our most important role is to ensure the viability, sustainability and strength of the organisation. Our primary role is the protection of our depositors and our policyholders and secure their deposits in the context of the banks. What’s happening here is that, given the uncertainty looking ahead, we continue to see it prudent to focus on maintaining capital levels. At the end of it all, I see capital almost as insurance protection for policyholders. Certainly, as the CFO, it is almost the primary basic role that I actually play here,” NCB Financial Group Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cohen on the matter of dividend payments. “Pricing is a function of market conditions. NCB by itself can’t go forward and move interest rates in a market where our competitors are doing something different. We have to stay within the market and price within the context of the market. Price movements that are reflected are a reflection of what’s happening in the market which oftentimes is driven by what’s happening at the central bank, in terms of their monetary policy adjustments. This is not an attempt to pass on unnecessary or unwarranted risks to customers. It is simply normal business practice,”
NCB Financial Group Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cohen

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I Want My Company To Be Among The Fortune500 And Valued In Billions Of US Dollars And I Don’t See Anything Stopping Us.

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“The products and services that we are offering are global. The difference between Bluedot and the next Forbes data company is access to market. It’s the same thing with EduFocal, the same with my company iCreate, and with One-on-One. I remember when I was looking to list, there was this company in the US that went public and it was doing the same thing One-on-One and EduFocal are doing. Pluralsight is the name of the company. That company got a valuation in the billions of US dollars. The product it is offering is not better or different from what One-on-One or EduFocal is offering; the only difference is access to market. When Jamaican companies are looking to list, they are targeting 10 or 15 corporate companies to jump on our programme and spend money. In the US, it could be 5,000 and 10,000. We are looking for 5,000 subscribers a month; imagine EduFocal getting five million subscribers a month. The difference is access to the market. I would love to see a network of connections “between entrepreneurs and companies like Sagicor Investments or NCB Capital Markets to reach out to a JP Morgan or Morgan Stanley and say, ‘listen, we have these businesses, we have invested in them, they have a captive market here already in the Caribbean, they are led by some innovative, world-changing young entrepreneurs, and we want to get them in the global market. Their products are tested and proven, they are profitable, they have good leadership, they have financial backing. The next step is the New York Stock Exchange, the next step is the Nasdaq’. We have to create a number of Forbes billionaires here in Jamaica. Imagine if all us are Forbes billionaires, imagine the impact we could have on Jamaica. Look at the impact a Michael Lee-Chin has on Jamaica. Look at the impact Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart has on Jamaica. We have to think bigger. There is no ceiling to our potential. I am not shy about it. I want my company to be among the Fortune500 and valued in billions of US dollars and I don’t see anything stopping us.”
Tyrone Wilson, CEO of iCreate

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