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  • Registered airport red cap porters are among the 19 categories of workers in the tourism industry slated to benefit from the Government’s $10-billion COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.
  • The programme, which was launched online today (April 9), via website www.wecare.gov.jm, aims to provide financial assistance to workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • The package involves the temporary transfer of cash to individuals and businesses to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.

Registered airport red cap porters are among the 19 categories of workers in the tourism industry slated to benefit from the Government’s $10-billion COVID Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme.

The programme, which was launched online today (April 9), via website www.wecare.gov.jm, aims to provide financial assistance to workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The package involves the temporary transfer of cash to individuals and businesses to cushion the pandemic’s economic impact.

Making the announcement during a digital media briefing hosted by the Tourism Ministry today (April 9), Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said red caps were chosen among the targeted beneficiaries, based on a special request to the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke.

“Red caps were particularly vulnerable in all of this, and I really want to single them out… because of how central they are as some of the first respondents at the airport when visitors come to the island,” he said.

The other categories of businesses and workers, who must all be registered and licensed with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) to be eligible, are hotels, attractions, villas, apartments, water sport operators, in-bond merchants, tour operators, guest houses, homestay, car rentals, bike rentals, travel agency companies, raft captains, craft vendors, craft producers, contract carriage, golf caddies and individual tour guides.

Mr. Bartlett noted that other industry players who are involved in agriculture, manufacturing, services, energy, water and a number of other key areas that are central to the tourism delivery system are going to be captured in the other areas of the Government’s overall economic stimulus package in response to COVID-19.

“It is now clear that the pathway for the tourism recovery is being led. It begins with the people; it begins with the workers of the industry and I am proud to say that my Government has made the first and important move to secure the well-being of the workers of the tourism industry,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the tourism industry will be the main beneficiary of the economic stimulus package, as the sector has been identified as “the first industry to bring back the economy”, post COVID-19.

“Tourism has the capacity, based on its resilience, its ability to bounce back fast from mega disruptions and pandemics, to bring the economy back fast, and so we have to be prepared so to do,” he said.

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