JIS News

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is optimistic that Jamaica’s winter tourist season will be strong, despite the negative publicity which the country suffered as a result of last week’s events in West Kingston.
This by virtue of a US$10 million promotional and advertising campaign, being spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), which gets underway on June 4 in the country’s main tourist markets of the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
The campaign is intended to prevent a projected US$350 million loss in earnings by the sector, as well as allay safety concerns among travel agents, and potential visitors.
The three countries, which account for some 95 per cent of visitor arrivals to the island, all issued precautionary advisories to their citizens, both resident in and who were contemplating travelling to Jamaica, during the events in West Kingston.
Speaking with JIS News, Mr. Bartlett, while lamenting the negative publicity, contended that decisive action in dealing with the fall-out should yield positive results for the sector.
“The most important thing to know is that. the destination is, in fact, safe and that our record of being, perhaps, the safest destination for tourists, still stands. Less than one per cent of all crimes committed in Jamaica are against visitors, and that’s a huge track record to work with,” the Minister noted.
He also pointed out that Jamaica had, arguably, the best repeat business record of any destination in the region, adding that some 52 per cent of visitors to Jamaica have been to the country on at least one previous occasion. He contended that, in light of last week’s events, Jamaica’s credibility as a destination that is “always hospitable.warm, friendly.and safe” is retrievable.
“If we are able to move fast, as we anticipate and if, also, we are able to deal with the elements of insecurity, as we expect to do then, perhaps, we will be able to recover much of what we may have lost for summer. But, definitely, our winter season would be very strong,” he asserted.

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