JIS News

Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett, has insisted that the sector is the most resilient of all industries, with the “fastest capacity for turnaround”.
He reiterated the point at an awards ceremony for the Spruce Up Jamaica Tourism Essay Competition, at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, Friday (October 23).
Supporting his statement, the Minister made the point that even the United States was now looking to tourism to help it make a fast recovery from its current recession.
“We came out of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) within 18 months after it was dealt with. We came out of 9/11 within a year afterwards, H1N1 is on us and it is not really damaging the tourism too much. When hurricanes come, six to nine months we are back on track. No other industry offers us that capability to turnaround,” Mr. Bartlett explained.
He stated that Jamaica’s success in achieving growth in the tourism sector, in a year when most other countries’ tourism is reeling from the effects of the worldwide economic recession, must not be downplayed.
“I just came out of a world conference where Jamaica was put on the pinnacle, so to speak, (in terms) of those countries’ performance in tourism for this particular year of downturn, of the greatest recession that the world has seen in 80 years,” he told guests at the ceremony.
He added that Jamaica has also been recognised among the top 10 growth destinations in the world.
His statements were corroborated by Executive Director of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Camille Needham, who pointed out that while there has been decline in other sectors, tourism has experienced growth this year.
“I do want, on behalf of the JHTA, to congratulate the Minister and his team for an outstanding job. And Minister, we are not embarrassed to acknowledge that we are proud of the fact that Jamaica is very much a beacon for the rest of the world in this regard,” she said.
The Spruce Up Jamaica Essay Competition invited youths across Jamaica to submit essays dealing with either the importance of heritage and culture to tourism, or how a clean and healthy environment impacts on tourism earnings.
Durrant Ellis emerged first place winner in the 13-17 years old category, while Kadia Wright won in the 18-25 years old category.

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