JIS News

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the country is reaping success from its “aggressive” airlift strategy, particularly out of gateways in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Jamaica, he noted, has been successful in attracting service from 12 new gateways during the last 12 months and there is every indication that more carriers will be flying to Jamaica.
“Our increasing airlift is boosting our arrival numbers to the point where last year we experienced a 3.6 per cent growth in stopover arrivals with 1,831,097 visitors at a time when every other Caribbean island, with the exception of the Dominican Republic and Cuba, were experiencing varying levels of decline,” Minister Bartlett stated.
He was addressing a Canada Jamaica Business Council luncheon last Wednesday (February 24) at the Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, where he spoke on issues relating to the tourism industry, including airlift, development projects and security.
He assured that the sale of Air Jamaica will not affect service to existing gateways as Caribbean Airlines will provide the necessary continuity.
“We expect the fallout to be minimal as we have been taking steps to ensure that other US carriers are increasing their rotations to Jamaica,” he informed.
Turning to upgrading and expansion projects, the Tourism Minister informed that the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has been restructured and mandated to work closely with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to upgrade, develop and manage the quality of attractions.
He informed that the TEF currently has just over $3.5 billion in investments, pending deployment in various projects and programmes.
One of the largest projects being undertaken by the TPDCo, with TEF support, is the Comprehensive Resort Upgrading Programme to benefit areas such as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril.
“The Montego Bay plan is completed and what it does in fact call for is the redevelopment of the entire Gloucester Avenue/Kent Avenue area starting from the entrance to Pier One all the way down to Dead End.
The programme, he informed, will bring US$145 million in investments into the area, generate 450 construction jobs and provide over 1,250 direct and 1,650 jobs indirect jobs for the industry within that area.
As it relates to security, he said that the Ministry is committed to working with the relevant government bodies in combating crime not only against foreigners but Jamaicans as well.
“The Resort Courtesy Corps, since its introduction, has had a significant impact on harassment and today, the incidence of harassment is down by 50 per cent and falling, and it is our plan to bring it down to zero,” he stated.
Canadian High Commissioner, Stephen Hallihan, citing negotiations between Canada and CARICOM towards a bilateral trade and investment treaty, said that the region stands to benefit significantly from such an agreement.
“An enhanced trade and investment agreement between Canada and CARICOM will benefit us all. It will create both the space and the marketplace within which exporters and business people of all kinds and in all sectors can bring their spirit, their business sense and their products into play and in so doing, create profits, jobs and sustainable economic and commercial activities for our mutual benefit,” he stated.

Skip to content