I recently had a chance to speak with an ambitious entrepreneur named Kirk-Anthony Hamilton who wants to spotlight Jamaica not just as a vacation destination but as a future global business powerhouse. He created The Destination Experience, an exclusive three-day event that begins this week on January 14 - 16 in Montego Bay. Local and global leaders will gather to discuss how they can help reshape Jamaica into a viable and attractive region for more investment opportunities that will ultimately benefit all Jamaicans.
Christopher: What was the inspiration behind The Destination Experience?
Kirk-Anthony: You've probably never thought of business and Jamaica in the sentence, right? There are so many great investment opportunities here, many with global potential, but we have not yet maximized the true potential of Jamaica. Our stock market was just named the best performer in the world by Bloomberg.
We just need more people to know that Jamaica is truly an attractive place to do business. The Destination Experience was created to foster more business and investment opportunities on the island so we can build a stronger Jamaica for all Jamaicans.
Christopher: What makes The Destination Experience unique?
Kirk-Anthony: In May of 2015, The Destination Experience was recognized by the White House and President Obama as an innovative platform for the promotion of entrepreneurship and a unique business catalyst. Subsequently the platform has gained recognition by the World Bank, The US State Department and the World Economic Forum. Kirk-Anthony was selected by the Forum as 1 of 50 under 30 global leaders to attend the annual conference in Davos - an event flocking with billionaires. Partnering with these organizations and diverse influencers helps amplify the opportunities TDE wants to highlight. "
We want The Destination Experience to be like the Davos of the Caribbean where we convene local and global leaders to tackle the really tough issues while experiencing the true and unique spirit of the islands. We will offer a more intimate, playful and diverse environment. The Destination Experience through its platform of curated social discovery experiences connects business luminaries to a dynamic network of people, ideas and opportunities.
Christopher: How do you achieve this mission?
Kirk-Anthony: In fulfilling this mission we've partnered with business titans such as entrepreneur and investor Arthur Wylie, and real estate developer Michael Rollins to drive international business and social impact opportunities. We also have built relationships with notable influencers across different spheres, including mogul Paula Kerr Jarrett, serial entrepreneur Yanik Silver, Miss Jamaica Universe Kaci Fennell, and luminary Jon Levy host of the celebrated New York Influencer Dinners, who will host his first ever international Influencer Dinner in Jamaica.
Locals will also be able to participate in the resulting opportunities which means more opportunities will help the entire economy. A major problem most Caribbean territories have faced is that many international organizations take a totalitarian approach to investment there and send their profits elsewhere and locals rarely benefit from the resulting revenue. This is especially true in the tourism sector.
Christopher: What happened after your last year's inaugural Destination Experience event and where do you see it going this year?
Kirk-Anthony: TDE 2014 underscored and assisted with the launch announcement of a multi-million dollar film deal with Arthur Wylie, Michael Rollins and Jeffrey Reddick (The creator of the billion dollar Final Destination franchise). The film trilogy will be shot in Jamaica and is based on Montego Bay's legend of Annie Palmer - The White Witch of Rose Hall. This is a testament to the overall aim of the event, to drive more partnerships and deal flow on the island towards a better future. The hope is that 2016 will drive even greater interest and investment in Jamaica.
For more information about The Destination Experience please visit: