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Bartlett moves to declare Port Royal a prescribed area under JTB Act

Published:Sunday | January 12, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says he will be putting measures in place to declare Port Royal as a prescribed area under the Jamaica Tourist Board Act (JTB), a move aimed at ensuring a safe and hassle-free environment for tourists as it would allow police additional remit to handle harassers.

The announcement follows a meeting with government officials, representatives from the Port Authority of Jamaica, Urban Development Corporation, the security forces and other stakeholders regarding the development of Port Royal, at Jamaica House in St Andrew, last week.

During the discussions, the prime minister declared that preventative measures would be implemented to tackle potential harassment and security issues at Port Royal, where a cruise port terminal is being developed.

In anticipation of the first cruise vessel, which is expected to arrive at the end of the month, the prime minister said Port Royal would not be a free-for-all.

“It is not going to be a place for hustlers and thugs and people to come to harass. It has to be a place of order,” Holness said.

“It will also be a place where not just visitors from overseas will have the opportunity to enjoy the experience, but we want Jamaicans to enjoy the experience as well.”

According to the act, the tourism minister ‘may make regulations to create measures and methods to be adopted in improving the basis of the tourist industry in Jamaica and in controlling and eliminating undesirable factors that may affect it’.

The designation of prescribed areas also regulates the activities and conduct of persons. This specifically controls the ‘soliciting for any prescribed purpose in those areas; or who, having no fixed place of business in those areas or whose business activities are not carried out pursuant to any licence granted for that purpose under the provisions of any other enactment, offer goods or services to members of the public in those areas’.

It can also affect the licensing of such categories of persons employed in tourist accommodation or tourism enterprises, as may be prescribed.

“We are very excited to welcome visitors to a brand new cruise port and will ensure that they have a safe, seamless and secure experience,” said Bartlett.

“By declaring Port Royal as a prescribed area, we will be better able to make this investment sustainable and ensure that the sector continues to thrive.”