empathize with our American partners
is a very difficult period for all of us locally but even more so
for our American counterparts"
island's two major hotel chains, SuperClubs and Sandals, with nearly
70 per cent of their business being generated from the United States,
have been hard hit by the terrorist attacks on two American cities.
being felt by the two hotel giants have jolted their operations
where they have now being forced to make radical changes to their
operations, including the rotation of staff and the bonding of the
moguls John Issa and 'Butch' Stewart.
to representatives of both tourism entities, empathizing with their
American partners were now foremost on their minds. They spoke of
the relationship they have with the United States and the importance
of the relationship to Jamaica's tourism.
per cent of our business comes directly from the United States,"
explained Leo Lambert, Group Public Relations Officer for Sandals.
"As our American friends struggle to regroup, this is a very difficult
period for all of us in the sector." He added that Sandals was now
making a concerted effort to pamper all their guests to show them
that "in this difficult time we too share their pains and concerns."
notes that now was the time for the Caribbean to come together as
a region to strategize ways to effectively deal with the massive
downturn in tourism. "We have to pull through this together," he
said. "We have to convince Americans that we are the destination
of choice during this difficult time - that we are a place to come
and relax and try to relieve their stress. With our close proximity
to the United States, we have a golden opportunity to salvage our
Vice-President of SuperClubs, Joe Issa, said that as airline travel
in the United States continues to decline, the effects were being
felt "like thunderclaps throughout the sector." Like his competitors
at Sandals, he notes that SuperClubs was feeling a lot of empathy
for the people of the United States at this time, adding that his
organization has had a long lasting relationship with that country."
"This is a
very difficult period for all of us locally but even more so for
our American counterparts," he said. "As America braces for war
nobody knows what the future will bring. Whatever game plan we had
going into the winter tourist season has to now be radically changed
as we enter this grave period of uncertainty."
Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is also firmly in solidarity
with the country's " American partners" despite the grave period
where a number of their hotels are on the brink of closure. According
to President, Josef Forstmayer, the JHTA has been working round
the clock to find ways to get through the current crisis facing
the sector but was optimistic that the winter season could be saved.