Contribution to the 2015/2016 Sectoral Debate by the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill.

Story Highlights

  • Our tourism results for last year are most encouraging and the future looks bright.
  • For calendar year 2014, Jamaica had a total of 3.5 million visitors, a 7% increase over 2013.
  • Next year we intend to welcome a fourth cruise ship to our shores for home porting.

Mr. Speaker,

I consider it a great honour to have been asked by the Most Honourable Prime Minister to open the Sectoral Debate for the 2015/2016 financial year.

It is a real privilege to serve as an elected representative of the people and I thank God for blessing me with the health and strength to perform in this role.

I would like to thank the

  • Most Hon. Prime Minister, whose continuous support I can always count on and for her confidence in me;
  • My thanks also to you Mr. Speaker, the Clerk and the committed staff of this Honourable House;
  • my colleague ministers, their staff and agencies, especially those whose work directly impacts the tourism sector;
  • my Minister of State, Damion Crawford;
  • my colleague MPs on both sides of the aisle and I would like to particularly mention the opposition spokesperson for tourism, Mrs. Shahine Robinson;
  • my Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith, and the dedicated team within the Ministry and its agencies.
  • the chairpersons of the respective agencies, their board members and their executive directors, as well as the Chairmen and members of our Resort Boards.
  • And my personal staff who keep me in check.
  • I would also like to acknowledge the President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Mrs. Nicola Madden-Greig and her executive and members.
  • Special thanks must be reserved for my constituents in Western Westmoreland, Mayor Bertel Moore, the Councillors and my management team.
  • Last and by no means least I thank my immediate family: my lovely wife Sheila, our two children, my mother and my sisters for being very supportive over the years.

Mr. Speaker, this year we have a new format for the sectoral debate, one that calls for brevity.  I welcome this innovative plan but it will present challenges as speakers will not be able to elaborate on all matters under their subject portfolio…READ MORE

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