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Government salutes festival

Observer reporter

Monday, November 06, 2017

THE Jamaica Tourist Board is continuing its support of annual reggae festival Rebel Salute, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Rebel Salute is scheduled for January 12 and 13 at the Richmond Estate in Priory, St Ann.

Delano Seiveright, senior advisor/strategist in the tourism ministry, highlighted the contribution to the increasing diversification of Jamaica's tourism product by the two-day music festival.

“Rebel Salute continues to draw Jamaicans and tourists alike to celebrate reggae music in one place. Rastafari and reggae music are the backbone of Jamaican culture, the backbone of our tourism product. Tourism is in strong growth mode and more and more visitors want varied experiences, and to ensure that growth is sustained we need more events like Rebel Salute,” said Seiveright.

“One of our main strategies for achieving sustainable tourism is by promoting the sector as a catalyst for cultural preservation and enrichment. Recent international tourism trends have pointed to a shift from traditional 'sun, sea and sand' phenomenon towards interactive, experimental tourism such as cultural experiences — like Rebel Salute,” he continued.

Seiveright was guest speaker at the official launch of Rebel Salute's 25th show, in New York City on Thursday evening. He was speaking on behalf of the tourism minister, who was in London on official business.

Patrick “Tony Rebel” Barrett, director of Rebel Salute, said the festival delivers the greatest roots-reggae show on earth.

So far this year, the tourism sector has welcomed a 8.6 -per cent spike in arrivals over the corresponding period last year, earning just over US$2.14 billion in gross foreign exchange.