Thu | Dec 8, 2022

Locals flocking to hotels to ring in new year - Tourism stakeholders meet to discuss

Published:Wednesday | December 30, 2020 | 12:18 AMJanet Silvera/ Senior Gleaner Writer
JHTA President Clifton Reader.
JHTA President Clifton Reader.


With entertainment events banned outside of the tourism sector’s resilient corridor, many locals have been making bookings to flock to the country’s hotels this coming weekend to unwind and party as they ring in 2021.

In light of this, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has called a special meeting of its members to discuss strict protocols surrounding New Year’s Eve celebrations within the resilient corridor.

It says that there will no discounting of the strict protocols governing the safety of guests and staff at the resorts or the island’s restaurants.

Being proactive

“We are being proactive, reminding our members of the spotless reputation that we have achieved since reopening the tourism sector in June,” JHTA President Clifton Reader told The Gleaner Tuesday afternoon, confirming that three meetings will be held in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril today.

The meeting will comprise hoteliers, restaurant operators, the police and health personnel.

Jamaica’s resilient corridor has been lauded both locally and internationally and the JHTA is aiming to defend its reputation of not having any known significant transmission of COVID-19 within the area.

The Tourism Product Development Company has ordered all resorts within the corridor to submit planned entertainment events for the New Year period, December 31, 2020 through to January 2, 2021, no later than today.

It reminded the tourism stakeholders that the COVID-19 health and safety protocols as stipulated by the Ministry of Health & Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism must be strictly adhered to at all times.

The entities will also now be required to submit a schedule of planned activities on a weekly basis.

“When a hotel is putting on a New Year’s Eve function, it has to be set in a certain way. There should be no dance floor; temperature checks must be done on all entering the area and the chairs must be set out in a social-distancing way,” Reader explained.

“We don’t want to be caught with our pants down. We are supposed to be the embodiment of the maintenance of the protocols,” Reader added.