JIS News

South Coast Area Chairman and Vice President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Judy Schoenbein, has stressed the importance of Jamaicans cherishing and protecting the tourism industry.
Delivering the keynote address at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting at the Golf View Hotel, Mandeville, Thursday (June 3),
Miss Schoenbein argued that tourism is a renewable export which, if used properly, would serve for generations.
“Unlike primary resources, such as petroleum or minerals, tourism is not finite. No matter how many people visit the mountain, it remains in place. In fact, in places that have lost manufacturing jobs, tourism offers an alternative advantage,” she explained.
The Vice President stated that, despite the durability of the tourism sector, support must be given by economic planners, investors, workers in the industry and just about everyone in the society.
“Tourism’s sustainability does not mean, however, that the tourism product must not be protected. Tourism, like any commodity, can be exhausted, exploited poorly or allowed to decline,” she said.
Miss Schoenbein told her audience that the South Coast has potential for tourism offerings, citing areas in Treasure Beach as well as the 3,000 acre property in Font Hill, St. Elizabeth that the Government has slated for divestment. She said sustainable jobs and opportunities will be there, once the development is enhanced.
“The South Coast should be developed in a different way to the North Coast, offering a different ‘brand’ similar to Costa Rica and Belize; a green, environmentally friendly experience would be ideal,” she suggested.
She added that the hope for the South Coast would then be the development of fisheries and produce, along with the placement of jobs and the erecting of green houses to supply the tourism industry.
“The South Coast has always been the supplier of fruits and vegetables, now let us become the producer of all the fish, fruits and vegetables that the tourism industry needs,” Miss Schoenbein concluded.

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