Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that the Resilient Corridors will play a key role as the sector continues on the path to recovery.
The Resilient Corridors, which encompass the majority of the island’s tourism regions, provide the opportunity for visitors to enjoy more of the country’s unique offerings, as many coronavirus (COVID-19)-compliant attractions, located along the Corridors, are authorised for visits by the health authorities.
Minister Bartlett said the fact that visitors can now stay in multiple accommodation facilities within the Resilient Corridors will enable them to experience more than one resort region on a single trip.
“These Corridors were an industry first, allowing us to manage exposure between international visitors and our tourism workers and residents. Our top priority was and still is instilling traveller confidence. We want our travellers to feel safe and confident in visiting us, and at the same time, we want to ensure their experiences are enjoyable and our vibrant persona shines through,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett was addressing the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2020 virtual media briefing held on November 9.
There are three COVID-19 Resilient Corridors – the North Coast from Negril to Port Antonio; the South Coast from Milk River to Negril; and the Kingston Business District (New Kingston and its environs).
Minister Bartlett noted that since Jamaica reopened the borders to international travellers on June 15, “we have smartly evolved the reopening stages, first requiring travellers to stay on the resort grounds and now giving them freedom to visit attractions within the Resilient Corridors using transportation approved under the Tourist Board Act”.
He informed that there are no known cases of COVID-19 transmission in the Resilient Corridors.
Mr. Bartlett said at resorts and hotels, protocols are in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including increased physical distancing, wearing of masks in public places, removal of shared or self-service items, installation of handwashing/sanitisation stations, visible cleaning taking place frequently, and more contactless/tech-based transactions.
Meanwhile, the Tourism Minister is reporting that some hotel properties have indicated that they are reaching up to 60 per cent occupancy through a combination of international and local guests, with numbers reaching nearly 90 per cent around the holiday weekends.
“Several hotels are redefining the meaning of luxury to accommodate more private experiences. For example, Eclipse at Half Moon is a major new luxury property at Half Moon Resort that provides the luxury of space, privacy and peace of mind with meticulous health and safety protocols,” Mr. Bartlett informed.
Additionally, renovations are under way on the former Oceana Hotel in Kingston, which will be rebranded ROK – Kingston.
Mr. Bartlett said the 168-room property, overlooking downtown Kingston’s waterfront, will be managed by Hilton through its Tapestry Collection trademark and will be part of a multipurpose complex, including retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.
“At Chukka’s new Ocean Outpost at Sandy Bay, which offers snorkelling, mountain-to-sea ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicle), dune buggies and water sports, there is an oceanside infinity pool and a new secluded outdoor lounge area called Seaside Sanctuary, which is perfect for physical distancing,” he pointed out.