Thu | Apr 2, 2020

TPDCo implements anti-harassment initiatives for tourists

Published:Thursday | November 1, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr Andrew Spencer.

The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has implemented anti-harassment initiatives and security measures to ensure a safe and hassle-free environment for tourists.

A major thrust launched in September was the 'Treat Our Visitors Right' public awareness campaign, geared at improving the visitor experience by sensitising stakeholders on the impact of harassment.

The three-month campaign utilises all channels necessary to generate exposure and potentially change perspectives, attitudes, and behaviours of destination residents.

It features a television advertisement, a jingle, bumper stickers, a social media campaign, and placement of campaign information on the organisation's website - www.tpdco.org.

An anti-harassment video dubbed 'Cum Yah', has been produced to further discuss the issue of harassment, its causes, effects and possible solutions, and also to get buy-in to the required attitude and behaviour changes.

The video will be a teaching tool at the various training and sensitisation sessions and will also be distributed to schools, youth groups, and other associations in the resort areas.

"We must treat our visitors right in order to increase that 42 per cent repeat visitor arrivals that we currently enjoy, and so we decided that a public awareness campaign was most critical to show our people what could potentially be perceived as harassment and get them to move towards behaviours that are less likely to be seen as such. Then we will have an even more robust tourism product," executive director of TPDCo, Dr Andrew Spencer, said.

Highlighting other anti-harassment initiatives, Dr Spencer said that the TPDCo facilitated training for contract carriage operators and tour guides in some of the resort areas.

He further reported that some 200 district constables were deployed across the six resort areas as part of the Tourism District Constable programme, which was established from a memorandum of understanding between TPDCo and the Jamaica Constabulary Force to prevent soliciting and harassment and to allow for the protection of the country, ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of the tourism sector.

Information about the campaign is available on social media (Facebook and Instagram) @tpdcoja, YouTube, and the company's website at www.tpdco.org.