Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Tourism minister orders intensive security audit of hotels, attractions

Published:Sunday | October 14, 2018 | 5:55 PM

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has ordered an intensive security audit of hotels and attractions on the island.

A release from the tourism ministry this afternoon said the security audit was being done as part of efforts to strengthen destination assurance. 

“I’ve directed the Tourism Product Development Company, which is in charge of maintaining quality assurance within the destination, to coordinate an intensive security audit of the sector so as to identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike," Bartlett said.

According to the tourism minister, "security arrangements are part of the licensing requirements for many sector operators, so we will apply tough sanctions where breaches and or significant weaknesses are found. ”

The announcement of the security audit of hotels and attractions follows the rape of two female visitors at a hotel in Montego Bay on September 27. It's reported that the crime was committed allegedly by an employee of the hotel who had been on the police wanted list.

In its defence, the hotel said it had followed strict recruitment guidelines in employing the accused worker.

But Bartlett stressed that “security remains a top priority of my ministry as this is an integral component to maintaining destination assurance (and) we are committed to ensuring that all visitors and locals feel safe.”

Consequently, the TPDCo will be conducting a review of security protocols and issues across the sector and provide recommendations where needed. The tourism ministry said the audit will be done over the next "couple of weeks".

The tourism ministry insisted that "tough actions where needed will follow".

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