Resort boards to be restructured
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has said the resort boards will be restructured to focus on the appointment of persons with appropriate skills to ensure the sustainable management of the destinations.
Addressing the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Falmouth last week Saturday at the Falmouth cruise ship pier, Bartlett said under the new direction, the bodies will be called Destination Assurance Boards.
"We have looked at how we (can) reconfigure the resort boards to fulfil that obligation as a sustainable destination. Resort boards have been the creature of the minister (of tourism), where people are appointed on the basis of stakeholder arrangements as well as general interest in the development of communities. The new structure that we are putting in place will take note of specific skill sets that are required to sustain the destination," he said.
He noted that the minister of tourism will only appoint the chairmen for these bodies. "We want to take out any semblance of political intrusion in these boards. They are going to be technical in nature and be responsive to the needs of the communities that they are in, in the interest of sustainable development," Bartlett said.
QUALITY AND STANDARDS
He informed that part of the mandate of the boards will be ensuring that operators in the sector are duly licensed, and that the quality and standards of the industry are maintained "in order to keep destination Jamaica top of mind for visitors".
He said that a destination assurance manager will be appointed during the first quarter of 2017, and will work closely with the boards.
Meanwhile, Bartlett pointed out that a revision of the Tourist Board Act is being undertaken in order to strengthen the role played by the agency in ensuring that entities are licensed.
"People are going to perform and operate within the destination under rules and regulations; that's the only way you are going to get it right," he said.