TPDCo Continues Efforts to Improve Tourism


The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) continued to facilitate diversification, development and improvement of the tourism product and the formation of strategic alliances with industry stakeholders, through a number of initiatives and partnerships, in 2004.
As set out in a report on the agency presented in the House of Representatives on May 24 by Industry and Tourism Minister, Aloun Ndombet Assamba, TPDCo last year, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the HEART Trust/NTA for the training of tourism workers under the Team Jamaica Programme.
Under the agreement, the HEART Trust assumed financial responsibility for the implementation of the programme, effective April 1, 2004. Up to November 30, a total of 1,094 persons were trained under the programme and the number is expected to increase to 1,500 participants annually.
The TPDCo also launched the Tourism for Prosperity Entrepreneurship Drive in May of 2004. The drive is directed at prospective entrepreneurs that have exciting ideas, which could be developed to enhance Jamaica’s tourism product. During the period under review, more than 20 contacts were made and two schemes were moved from the concept stage to implementation.
The company also launched the corporate Adopt-a-Mile Project as part of its thrust to facilitate the physical improvement of major resort areas. Under this programme, corporate sponsors are expected to beautify and maintain respective areas with the benefit of obtaining branding and promotional mileage, while playing a significant role in sustaining the tourism product.
The corporate Adopt-a-Mile programme is expected to restore a number of places throughout the island to their former glory.
The TPDCo also launched its Street Pedestrian Programme, which seeks to ensure that visitors can go about their business without traffic problems. The project involves the closing of certain streets to vehicular traffic at designated times. In Kingston, Knutsford Boulevard is being used as the pilot project under the brand name ‘Knutsford Nights’. The event, showcases a number of local talents, crafts and cuisine.
TPDCo also facilitated the establishment of the Jamaica Gold Advisory Council, which seeks to develop Jamaica as a golfing destination, to encourage the construction of additional golf courses and establish standards for existing ones.
In addition, as a part of a major thrust to determine the carrying capacity and safety of marine recreational areas, TPDCo tendered for consultancy services with a view to have the study conducted.
Some $1 million was received from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) towards defraying the cost of the study, with additional commitments of $500,000 from the Port Authority of Jamaica and $1.5 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The TPDCo also established a new office in Negril, Westmoreland in order to communicate effectively and respond more expeditiously to the concerns of stakeholders in the resort area.
Further, the company coordinated the development and acceptance of an HIV/AIDS Policy for the tourism sector in order to improve public awareness/behaviour with respect to lifestyle issues and to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, throughout the sector.
Under this programme, the TPDCo conducted HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention seminars involving 179 participants and installed condom dispensing machines at Sandals Dunns River, Sandals Montego Bay, Half Moon Hotel, Beaches Negril, the Courtleigh Hotel and the Knutsford Court Hotel.

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