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Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Ian Neita, has stated that his organisation is about the promotion and development of Jamaica’s tourism and that funds collected by the group cannot be used for any other purpose.
Speaking at a press conference on January 23, at the Mandeville Parish Church in Manchester, to announce plans for the Scout Association of Jamaica Centenary celebrations, he highlighted the areas of focus that the TEF is designed for.
“Encourage better management of environmental resources, enhance the tourist experience within Jamaica, and facilitate the sustainable development of the tourism sector. In short, the Tourism Enhancement Fund assists in the implementation of the Tourism Master Plan, and is guided by the Vision, that Jamaica must become the most desirable tourist destination,” Mr. Neita disclosed.
The TEF boss said they are committed to the upkeep of well designed and attractive resort towns, and that the TEF functions as an enabler of the Ministry of Tourism’s drive to develop the economy and society through tourism.
“The TEF is an important gateway through which the hopes and dreams of Jamaicans can be realised, whether as direct or indirect beneficiaries. We understand the power of tourism to transform lives financially, at the individual and family level, when the figures for indirect employment are added, we are looking at 276,000 people who benefit from the tourism industry,” he said.
The TEF is financed by a Tourism Enhancement Fee, which is charged to incoming airline passengers and cruise passengers. Mr. Neita told the audience that the Fund will continue to “support projects that increase national economic prosperity, increase the competitiveness of the tourism product; promote resort development; develop vital sub-sectors, such as heritage tourism, and community tourism. So we support programmes designed to enhance the infrastructure of tourism.”
“In this regard, tourism is a powerful agent for social change. It facilitates and involves the meeting of many languages and customs in one place, and all who share in it are enriched by the experience. That is why we will always encourage organisations like the Scout Association of Jamaica; we recognise that only people with the best attitudes, with the best understanding of their own purposes in life can truly find fulfillment in service to others. The scout movement lays the groundwork for the creation of the best citizen, who is dedicated to service and excellence in service,” Mr. Neita said.