The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) will provide 500 COVID-19 protective kits, valued at more than $15 million, to small tourism properties islandwide.
Making the announcement during a digital press conference on July 10, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the kits, valued at more than $30,000 each, will include two touchless garbage bins, two touchless hand sanitiser dispensers and two infrared thermometers.
“We are putting $15 million to enable 500 small properties across Jamaica to have these COVID security kits,” the Minister noted.
He said these will effectively protect front-line workers and visitors, while meeting the guidelines of COVID-19 safety protocols of the Ministries of Tourism, and Health and Wellness.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the TEF has collaborated with several partners to assist small and medium‐sized tourist enterprises (SMTEs) to retool and rebound, adding that the group has been adversely impacted by COVID-19.
“Our SMTEs will play a critical role in the recovery of tourism by helping to avert further unemployment and by stimulating economic activity through the various subsectors,” he said.
Small and medium‐sized tourist enterprises include artisans, craft vendors, attractions and tours, transportation, beauty shops and textiles, duty-free stores, restaurants and eateries, bed and breakfast, beauty shops and farmers.
The TEF was established in 2005 to implement recommendations emanating from the Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development.
In 2018, the agency was restructured to operate as a centre for innovation for tourism, with responsibility for strategic and targeted projects that support key activities aimed at realising growth targets.
The new model will see TEF expanding to include three new divisions – Tourism Linkages Network, Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation and Craft Development Institute.