JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Tourism stakeholders are appealing for strong take-up of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine among workers and operators in the resilient corridors.
  • Chairman of the Tourism Resilient Corridors Committee, John Byles, told JIS News that the move will propel Jamaica to “the front of the line” as a nation “that is taking the vaccination exercise very seriously.”
  • “We are calling on all tourism interests along the corridors to mobilise so we can protect our businesses,” he urged. “We need to be able to communicate that the corridors are fully vaccinated and safe,” he added.

Tourism stakeholders are appealing for strong take-up of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine among workers and operators in the resilient corridors.

Chairman of the Tourism Resilient Corridors Committee, John Byles, told JIS News that the move will propel Jamaica to “the front of the line” as a nation “that is taking the vaccination exercise very seriously.”

“We are calling on all tourism interests along the corridors to mobilise so we can protect our businesses,” he urged.
“We need to be able to communicate that the corridors are fully vaccinated and safe,” he added.

Hospitality workers have been included among the categories of persons to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Approximately of 30, 000 tourism workers are being targeted for vaccination under the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ four-day island-wide vaccination blitz, which started on Saturday (April 10).

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader, who joined several players in the industry at a press conference at the Pier 1 restaurant in Montego Bay on Saturday, shortly after they received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, welcomed the move by the Government to prioritise the tourist sector.

He said that the vaccination exercise is particularly important as the country’s main source market, the United States, is urging its citizens to only travel to COVID-19-vaccinated nations.

He noted that the resilient corridors “have been working almost to perfection and having employees and management fully vaccinated will provide the perfect narrative for Jamaica as a premier tourist destination.”

“We have to get tourism rolling again. We have had an entire year of ups and downs but finally, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Reader said.

Montego Bay businessman, Jason Russell, who operates Pier 1, said he has impressed upon his entire staff, the importance of getting the vaccine, both for their health and for the incentives that come with having a fully-vaccinated workforce.

“The cruise ships have made their intentions known that whenever they start sailing again they would be going to destinations that are vaccinated,” he pointed out.

“My core business is both food and entertainment and we certainly want to be in full compliance with every aspect of the tourism industry,” he added.

Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Godfrey Dyer, for his part, said that the Ministry of Tourism will continue to educate sector workers about the importance of taking the vaccine, adding that Jamaica “is poised for a massive return to tourism prominence”.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, who spoke to JIS News at the vaccination blitz held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Saturday, said he was pleased with the turn-out of tourism workers at the vaccination sites across the island.

“If you saw what happened on the south coast and also in Montego Bay, Negril and Port Antonio…you would know that our people have been responding to the call to get themselves vaccinated,” he said.

“It was a very good look and one that will certainly boost our drive to become a fully vaccinated nation,” he contended.

The resilient corridors, which encompass the majority of the island’s tourism regions, provide the opportunity for visitors to enjoy more of the country’s unique offerings, as many COVID-19-compliant attractions, located along the corridors, are authorised for visits by the health authorities.

There are three COVID-19 resilient corridors – the North Coast from Negril to Port Antonio; the South Coast from Milk River to Negril; and the Kingston Business District (New Kingston and its environs).

 

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