JIS News

Wednesday, October 6 Montego Bay British High Commissioner in Jamaica, Peter Mathers says, “Jamaica is dealing with its crime issues.” He was speaking at the Opening ceremony for the Partnership Roles and Opportunities for Investors in Tourism (PROFIT) meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay on Tuesday.
Addressing the over 300 delegates who are primarily investors, financiers and project proposals from all over the world, the High Commissioner spoke frankly about some of the ‘real’ issues facing development and expansion in the region, but mentioned that organized crime is in fact a deterrent to a country’s expansion.
“The Government of Jamaica is making strong efforts to reduce the crime situation, they have sought help from international groups and some amount of success has been seen,” the High Commissioner noted. He praised the security officials who he says have made strides in reducing the spread of drug-related crime. “Some of the more prominent persons who are involved in drug matters internationally have been locked up and that is a good sign,” he added.
High Commissioner Mathers focused his presentation a lot on the Jamaican situation and highlighted the possibilities that he says are endless where tourism opportunities are concerned. He wanted to assure the visiting delegations that the Caribbean is open for business and that they are to go ahead with the plans they had.
“Jamaica and the rest of the region have responded well to international demands in the tourism sector, and this partnership meeting is a signal of the region’s interest to develop and maintain a competitive advantage in the business,” says the High Commissioner.
He also thanked the international groups, friends and other persons who responded so quickly to help persons in the region who suffered damage from the hurricanes and also commended the teams from the European Commission and the investors who are present at the meeting for still maintaining the interest even after seeing the devastation which took place.
High Commissioner, Mathers, was among a list of speakers on opening night and shared the podium with Minister of Development, Dr. Paul Robertson, Peter Odle, 1st vice president of the Caribbean Hotel Association; Athanassios Theodorakis, Acting Director General for Development – European Commission, Leela Narinesingh – CARICOM. Patricia Francis of JAMPRO chaired the function.
The sessions on Wednesday will look at Tourism Leaders Outlook to be chaired by Hon. Wykeham McNeill, junior minister for Tourism – Jamaica; Noel Lynch – Tourism Minister – Barbados; Philip Pierre – tourism Minister – St. Lucia; and Harold Lovell – tourism Minister for Antigua. Another session will look at “A view from the top. How does the Caribbean fit into the plans of Leading international Hotel and Tourism companies? Scott Berman of Price Waterhouse Coopers will lead this and Chris Dehring of World Cup 2007 will be the lunchtime speaker. One on one meetings continue throughout the day.

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