JIS News

Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has said that the government was working with tourism interests to return the sector to normality within the earliest possible period.
The Prime Minister, who was speaking at the 50th anniversary dinner of the Half Moon Hotel at the property in Rose Hall last night (Sept. 30), pointed out that up to the end of July, the tourism sector was enjoying growth of 9.8 per cent in stop over arrivals and he, and other sector interests, were determined to regain that growth momentum.
Outlining steps being taken in this regard, he mentioned that the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) was developing new marketing strategies, while the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) was assisting properties in the repair effort.
The Prime Minister noted that while Hurricane Ivan did extensive damage to the island’s infrastructure, it could not, and did not, break the spirit of the Jamaican people.
“It will take serious effort to recover island-wide, and such an effort will require that we effectively mobilize our human and financial resources as well as our physical assets. It is noteworthy that our utilities stood up, our airports and seaports enabled rapid restoration of vital services,” he stated.
He applauded the unity with which the nation was facing the difficulties created by the disaster and praised the workers within the tourism industry for their hospitality to the visitors who chose to stay in the island during the hurricane.
He also commended the management and staff of Half Moon Hotel for 50 years of outstanding service to the hospitality industry.
Pointing to the importance of the industry to national development, Mr. Patterson said, “I have always had a firm conviction that our island’s tourism industry is one which has tremendous potential to contribute to the economic development of this beautiful island”.

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