Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Security details being worked out for global conference

Published:Monday | November 20, 2017 | 10:18 AM
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

Local organisers of one of the biggest tourism conferences in the world are confident the more than 800 visitors expected in Montego Bay will be safe despite the high murder rate in St James since the start of this year.

Almost 300 people have been killed in St James since the start of the year, but visitors to the island’s tourism capital have been largely safe and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says everything is in place to keep it that way.

The final preparations are being done for the Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnership for Sustainable Tourism slated for November 27-29 in Montego Bay.

Bartlett told a Gleaner Editors’ Forum last Thursday that a full security protocol is being developed for the conference and that organisers are working with the police force and military as well as local private sector security agents.

Onika Miller, managing director of the MCS Group at the Jamaica National Building Society, which is the lead organiser of the conference, says some of the security initiatives taken for the conference were informed by the ongoing Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) now in force in Mount Salem, St James.

Included in these are the erection of a security command centre, on-site registration checking, special zoned badges, and strong security details at checkpoints.

More than 150 countries are expected to be represented at the conference which is being staged by the Jamaican government in collaboration with the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

It will feature entrepreneurs, academics, professionals and other stakeholders knowledgeable about tourism in the Caribbean.