Bartlett warns illegal operators of attractions
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has announced that his ministry will shortly be publishing the names of licensed and authorised attractions across the island in an effort to maintain standards in the industry.
Bartlett, who was addressing stakeholders at the opening of a community-based dive and non-motorised sports facility in Port Antonio on Thursday, said he will be tabling the matter before Parliament shortly, in seeking amendments to the Tourism Act.
"We do not wish for a visitor to second-guess the integrity of the promise that we make in the marketplace," Bartlett said.
"When we say come to Jamaica, whether we call it the Home of Alright, you must be assured of a vacation that is seamless, safe, and secure. And so we are ensuring that standards and quality-control measures are put in place and are also enforced," he added.
Bartlett also spoke about the partnership with the Alligator Head Foundation, which, according to him, is one of many such developments that will enhance tourism in Portland, which accounts for the birth of tourism.
The birth of the community-based dive and non-motorised sports facility became a reality as a result of sponsorship through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) totalling approximately $18 million.
The attractions at the facility included a floating dock, a patrol boat, glass bottom boat and a fisheries conservation area.
According to Bartlett, his ministry is working assiduously to sustain visitor arrivals to Portland with its natural beauty, lush vegetation, and breath-taking attraction sites.
He said the TEF has contributed approximately $430 million in Portland, to enhance the varied tourism products and projects since its inception.
Meanwhile, founder of the Alligator Head Foundation, Francesca Von Habsbury, labelled the facility a marine lab fit for research.
"There has been success following the return of several fish species and turtles after two years of ocean literacy and research, " said Von Habsbury.
"The foundation has embarked on a campaign called the Ridge to Reef Principle in protecting the ecosystem. Today, I am happy that the level of compliance among fishermen is commendable, and we are reaping the results in protecting the areas that are now designated fish sanctuaries," she said.