Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Bartlett says Canadian travel advisory will not significantly affect arrivals

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2016 | 6:44 PM
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (centre) addresse the inaugural meeting of the expanded Tourism Linkages Council at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices. Listening are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith and newly appointed chairman of the Tourism Linkages Council, Adam Stewart.

Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett says he does not believe the decision of Canadian authorities to issue a travel advisory against Jamaica will significantly impact visitor arrivals from that country as instances of violence against tourists are very low here.

According to Bartlett, the issuing of the travel advisories is routine.

“This review is done regularly and Jamaica fell into the second category of ‘elevated risk’ along with most of the destinations in this region. It was not done in response to any single incident so we must be careful not to misinterpret the advisory or its purpose,” Bartlett said.

He was addressing the inaugural meeting of the expanded Tourism Linkages Council at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices where he formally introduced ten new members who were specially selected to bolster the body.

In the meantime, Bartlett has cautioned Jamaicans not to send negative messages about the country’s tourism product as it may hinder the growth of the sector.

"Tourism is perhaps the only industry in Jamaica that has grown consistently for the past 35 years. However, we must be careful in our pronouncements so as not to fuel fear and anxiety which can be deleterious to that growth which will damage our own future and our economy,” he said.

Bartlett said the Tourism Ministry is collaborating with the National Security Ministry to add a new layer of security that will ensure strict enforcement of the rule of law and help to effectively tackle tourist harassment.

He said in addition to the courtesy corps now in place, 87 district constables who are being trained under this initiative will graduate on July 19.

These officers will function under a special arm of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, have policing powers and will focus specifically on boosting safety and security in resort areas.

Another 13 officers will be added soon, to bring the initial complement to 100 by the end of the year.

New Members - Expanded Tourism Linkages Council:
Adam Stewart (Chairman), CEO of Sandals Resort International
Omar Robinson, President, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association
Andrene Collings, Director,  MSME Office at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
Peter Thompson, CEO, Rural Agricultural Development Authority
Christine Cohen, Owner of Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel
David Butler, CEO, Digicel
Kamal Bankay, Entertainment Consultant
Mauricio Pulido, CEO GB Energy Jamaica
Ronald McKay, President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica
Anup Chandiram, President of the Duty Free Association of Jamaica