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Alarm over Jamaica's slip in tourism competitveness

Published:Sunday | May 17, 2015 | 4:58 PM
The famous Doctor's Cave beach in Montego Bay.

There is concern that Jamaica is losing its competitiveness in the global tourism and cruise shipping industries.

The Opposition spokesperson for Tourism and Cruise Shipping, Shahine Robinson, has expressed alarm at the island dropping nine places to 76 out of 141 countries in the latest Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015, published biennially by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum.

“With growth rates already lagging way behind competing destinations in the region... Jamaica dropped 9 places to rank 76 out of 141 countries, the worst ever, (and) leaving it behind a slew of regional destinations including Trinidad and Tobago,” said Robinson in a release issued to the media.

The Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report ranks countries based on their score in its travel and competitiveness index. The index is comprised of four sub-indices including: enabling environment; travel & tourism policies and enabling conditions; infrastructure; and natural and cultural resources.

Robinson highlighted that safety and security concerns continue to be major challenges for Jamaica’s tourism sector. She reiterated her call for both the tourism and national security ministers to address the problem effectively.

The Opposition spokesperson suggested that there be an increase in the number of police units, more frequent patrols, speedy investigations and community policing as some of the ways to address the challenges affecting the tourism sector.