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  • Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Senator Noel Sloley, is expressing satisfaction with his organisation’s partnership with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in procuring and installing 15 automated immigration kiosks at the island’s two international airports.
  • He said the project, being implemented at a cost of US$2 million, forms part of the TEF’s mandate to improve the quality of the tourism product, which includes enhancing the visitor experience on entering or exiting the island.
  • The automated kiosks scan passport and customs information, which is usually declared to customs officials on written forms filled out by passengers.

Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Senator Noel Sloley, is expressing satisfaction with his organisation’s partnership with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) in procuring and installing 15 automated immigration kiosks at the island’s two international airports.

He said the project, being implemented at a cost of US$2 million, forms part of the TEF’s mandate to improve the quality of the tourism product, which includes enhancing the visitor experience on entering or exiting the island.

“The Tourism Enhancement Fund is to improve, to enhance, the quality of the visitor’s(experience) into Jamaica, so anything that we can do that can speed up the arrival process, both for the visitor and us locals, is vital for the expansion of the trade,” he noted.

Senator Sloley was speaking to JIS News on Thursday (December 11), during the official commissioning into service of 10 automated immigration kiosks at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St. James. They add to the five which were installed at Norman Manley International in Kingston in November.

The automated kiosks scan passport and customs information, which is usually declared to customs officials on written forms filled out by passengers. This is expected to streamline the process of entering the country and reduce the long waits that airline passengers can encounter after arriving on international flights.

The kiosks are expected to reduce the processing time for travellers to less than one minute.

The TEF Chairman moved to allay concerns that the automated kiosks will result in a cut in the number of immigration officers at the airports. He said there is no need for officers to worry.

“In fact, because the (tourism) industry is growing and because of how airlines operate in terms of hubs, more and more flights are arriving during a three-hour peak period. We have a request in to help to fund more staff during those periods rather than fewer people,” he pointed out.

 

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