JIS News

Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet Assamba, has called on hotel managers and executives to implement HIV/AIDS workplace policies, to promote prevention activities and reduce discrimination.
“Get involved in this process. Do not just go for the minimum acceptable standard .take it on as if your very lives depend on it,” Mrs. Assamba said, as she addressed an HIV/AIDS sensitization breakfast meeting hosted by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) on Wednesday (Feb.15), at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel in Ocho Rios.
According to the Tourism Minister, the implementation of HIV/AIDS policies in the workplace would help to reduce the stigma associated with the disease.
She pointed out that while discrimination tended to be overt and actionable, “stigma tends to be more insidious and cannot be contained by legislation or policy, so this is where you and I come in because we need more role models to be advocates for the HIV/AIDS stigma reduction”.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Assamba said that the spread of HIV/AIDS has become a major social and economic issue and the government has sought to “catalyse discussion on the matter at all levels and in all possible dimensions.”
“In economy such as ours, where tourism has been identified as one of the main drivers, we cannot afford to be ignorant, negligent or anything but practical and positive about the management of our human resources,” she said.
She added that, “although the establishment of hotels, villas, and attractions require significant outlays of capital, it is the human touch that makes the difference in this very labour intensive industry”.
She commended TPDCo’s Executive Director, Michael Muirhead and his team, for taking the matter to the hotel sector, through the staging of island wide workshops. The HIV/AIDS sensitization breakfast meeting was held as part of activities to mark National Safer Sex Week from February 12 to 18.

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