Director of Tourism, Donovan White, says Jamaica should have no problem regaining its status as a first-choice destination considering the investment the Government has made in strengthening its health and safety protocols.
Mr. White, in a recent interview with JIS News, said that the post-coronavirus (COVID-19) era will be kind to the destinations that have taken the time to ensure that they have created a safe and secure environment for visitors and workers.
“We have been at the forefront of safety and security as we were one of the first destinations to release our protocols to the world. We were also one of the first destinations to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) safe travel stamp on our protocols,” he pointed out.
“We have invested, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), a tremendous amount of resources in terms of training the workers of the industry to apply the protocols and to be able to actively deliver on a level of safety,” he added.
Mr. White said that in addition to those health and safety measures, the Government further strengthened Jamaica’s response by creating the tourism resilience corridors, which allow “for us to provide even more security almost like a bubble around the tourism industry”.
With the creation of these corridors, visitors know that they are going to a place where the necessary safeguards are in place and the tourism assets are protected.
“So we have created and done the work in terms of ensuring that we can provide that level of confidence to the marketplace,” he stressed, noting that the corridors are now being looked at by many destinations as a solution to reopening their tourism industry.
Mr. White said he is proud to see Jamaica being looked at as a shining beacon in the region.
He said that the travel authorisation process, which is part of the entry programme, is being adopted by several other Caribbean territories as well.
“What it does is allow for the destination to be able to prescreen persons coming in, so that you know beforehand what’s happening where they are coming from, what is their situation and so on,” he pointed out.
“What that means is that you can now make an assessment before you provide that level of authorisation to travel. So we have looked at it at many levels to ensure that safety and security are not just mere buzz words but are actually action words that are being put into motion every single day,” the Tourism Director added.