Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
The Tourism Minister Dr. Wykeham McNeill says the government will not be pursuing the recommendation to merge the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
The recommendation was made by the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration.
However, Dr. McNeill said the TEF, TPDCo, Jamaica Vacations JamVac and the Jamaica Tourist Board, (JTB) will all remain separate entities.
The tourism minister said the JTB will continue to provide administrative support for JamVac.
He said those agencies will remain the core bodies of the Ministry and will collectively drive its airlift, product development and marketing initiatives.
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association which had fought hard to ensure the two remained separate, have welcomed the decision.
In the meantime, McNeill has charged the new TEF board, chaired by Senator Noel Sloley, to developing a five year strategic programme to guide the development of the tourism product.
He said the TEF has been mandated to include a number of marquee projects, which will have a lasting and transformational impact on the island's number one foreign exchange earner.
The tourism minister said money collected by the TEF in air passenger fees will be equally allocated to product development as well as marketing and airlift.