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JIS News

Many American citizens living in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas took the opportunity to apply for their U.S. passports at the morning coffee break session hosted by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), at Union Station in downtown Washington on Wednesday, November 15.
The coffee break, which began at 6:00 a.m. and ended at 10:00 a.m., caught commuters in rush hour traffic. Citizens applied for their passports through the U.S. Postal Service, which was on hand to assist the commuters while they received cups of the world renowned Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee. This latest initiative by the JTB is to prevent any possible fallout in tourist arrivals when the Caribbean’s phase of the United States (US) regime comes into effect in January 2007. As of that date, all travelling Americans will be required to have a passport to re-enter the U.S. Jamaica’s Ambassador to the US, Professor Gordon Shirley and newly elected Democratic Congresswoman, Yvette Clarke were on hand to support the effort by the JTB and assisted in serving coffee to the commuters.
Commenting on the event, Ambassador Shirley said it was very successful. “The Jamaica Tourist Board, Air Jamaica and the U.S. Postal Service have done an excellent job. We have seen a large number of commuters signing up for their U.S. passports and the indication is an excellent response to the U.S. passport requirement,” he added, while commending the JTB for being proactive in this initiative.
Congresswoman Clarke said “the proactive move that is being done today in reaction to the US policy by Jamaica is a commendable one”.
She added that “in my observation of today’s event and the feedback that I have received, it is a positive one. The creativity around the initiative encouraging U.S. citizens to apply for their passports and being able to have a cup of Blue Mountain coffee is a very innovative move by the JTB and there is no doubt that Jamaica will receive great results.” Similar coffee breaks have been held in New York and Chicago.