Sat | Oct 20, 2018

Winter tourist season starts, JHTA worried about harassment

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 9:15 AM

The winter tourist seasons starts today, and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is reiterating what it says is the need to eliminate the scourge of harassment that continues create problems in resort towns.

Latest data show that in 2011, 29 per cent of visitors to Jamaica reported that they were harassed.

However, that was an improvement over the 1990s, when the figure was as high as 60 per cent.

Prostitutes, beggars, drug pushers and hustlers are known to converge on major tourist areas like Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril.

In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in May, the Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill acknowledged the problem of harassment.

The JHTA wants McNeill to explain what has been done so far and assess the efficiency of the initiatives.

Meanwhile, Jamaica has projected a 4.6-per cent increase in foreign exchange earnings from tourism this winter.

The Tourism Minister says the season will also be the strongest in terms of cruise ship arrivals.

He is expecting a 5.8 per cent increase to push the total cruise ship passenger arrivals to 611,000.

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