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TPDCo charged with tourism integrity

Published:Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM

TPDCo charged with tourism integrity

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has challenged the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and leaders of key subsectors of the industry to raise standards and maintain integrity within the sector.

Bartlett issued his charge as he embarked on a series of stakeholder meetings with subsector groups to outline the way forward, the emphasis being on growth.

Bartlett met with members of staff of the Jamaica Tourist Board and TPDCo in Montego Bay. He engaged stakeholders from the attractions, ground transportation, and the craft subsectors at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. He also heard their concerns.

To the TPDCo staff he said, "Your job is to ensure the integrity of the product. Destination Jamaica has to be managed, and in managing it, we have to look at the critical touch points that have to be in pristine condition at all times because when the visitor comes, he is at your mercy and your whim. He is here to enjoy the product in a safe environment so that he can move around seamlessly and freely and that there will not be any negative repercussions."

With the country enjoying an enviable 42 per cent rate of repeat business, Bartlett argued that attracting the other 58 per cent could not be that hard. "I believe it has been made to look that hard because we have not done enough to market and satisfy the passions of the people," he said.

"Our job is to identify these passion points and then to build the product around them." He stressed that standards must be at the highest level and charged TPDCo to be "the centre of the integrity of the product, seeing to the management of quality assurance, which is what makes a quality destination".