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Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that a “very strong” communication programme will be rolled out for the ‘Jamaica Cares’ travel insurance programme, which will be launched shorty.
The revolutionary initiative is aimed at providing travel protection and emergency services to tourists coming into the island, given the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as to ensure the safety and protection of workers in the tourism sector and, by extension, Jamaican citizens.
“I think this is a world-class programme for end-to-end security for the health and well-being of all our visitors and Jamaicans alike,” Minister Bartlett said.
“This is a response that truly speaks to building resilience and enabling destinations to be able to respond effectively and well to whatever problems may occur during a visit, particularly as it relates to health and security,” he added.
Minister Bartlett was speaking at the virtual launch of the three-day Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) Live 2020 exposition, on Monday (November 9).
Mr. Bartlett advised that Jamaica Cares comprises two components – crisis response and emergency medical services.
He said the comprehensive range of provisions under the programme, which is being developed under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, include the cost of medical care, evacuations, field rescue, case management, and patient advocacy.
“As it relates to COVID-19, specifically, the emergency programme also covers testing for symptomatic travellers, quarantine/isolation in a medical facility or in sanctioned quarantine facilities, and evacuation, if necessary,” the Minister added.
Minister Bartlett said that Jamaica Cares represents another prong in the country’s COVID resilience and serves to establish confidence in the destination.
He said that the programme is designed in a manner that it can be adopted and adapted by other destinations.
JAPEX, which is being staged virtually this year for the first in its 30-year history due to COVID-19, runs from November 9 to 10.
It has attracted a record number of participants. They include nearly 2,000 travel agents, more than 250 tour operators, 120 supplier companies, with approximately 220 delegates and 137 media representatives.
Some of the countries represented are the United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Canada, People’s Republic of China, India, Russia, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina.
JAPEX, which is Jamaica’s premier tourism industry marketplace, is a collaboration between the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association.