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  • The Tourism Linkages Council and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), have welcomed the $1-billion loan facility being made available by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to assist small and medium-sized tourism enterprises to upgrade their properties and attractions.
  • Endorsements came from Chairman of the Council, Adam Stewart, and President of the JHTA, Omar Robinson, at the launch of the initiative at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay on September 21.
  • Mr. Robinson said the loan comes at the right time when members are seeking to reposition themselves to take advantage of upcoming opportunities in the tourism sector

The Tourism Linkages Council and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), have welcomed the $1-billion loan facility being made available by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to assist small and medium-sized tourism enterprises to upgrade their properties and attractions.

The money will be made available through the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.

Endorsements came from Chairman of the Council, Adam Stewart, and President of the JHTA, Omar Robinson, at the launch of the initiative at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay on September 21.

Mr. Stewart said the programme comes at a time when Jamaica’s tourism is poised for major development.

The Chairman, who is also Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International, said the loan facility will play a major role in ensuring that the moving parts of tourism come together in ensuring that the competitive edge which the country enjoys in the marketplace is sharpened.

He said with Jamaica on a mission to attract major investors in the tourism sector, the loan will provide a much-needed lift for players in that sector to move their products and services to a higher level.

“This will represent a real lifeline of sustainability of their businesses and an opportunity for them to realise their dreams. The Tourism Linkages Council, therefore, lauds the fact that this loan facility is aligned to new investments, new markets and new products as well as human capital investments,” Mr. Stewart said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Robinson said the loan comes at the right time when members are seeking to reposition themselves to take advantage of upcoming opportunities in the tourism sector

“The JHTA lauds the partnering of the Ministry of Tourism, the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the EXIM Bank in providing this facility by making financial resources available at cheaper interest rates, so that these entrepreneurs can purchase raw materials, equipment and spare parts required for their businesses,” he said.

Mr. Robinson said access to loans at cheaper interest rates will not only benefit the players in the tourism sector, but Jamaica as a whole, and challenged other commercial banks to extend loans with more flexible terms and conditions.

The event was also used to ink the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will grant members of the sector access to loans of up to $25 million at an interest rate of five per cent over five years.

The MOU was signed by Chairman of the TEF, Godfrey Dyer; Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison; and Managing Director of the EXIM Bank, Lisa Bell.