JHTA AGM: Minister OF Tourism, Edmund Bartlett (1st R) greets Executive Director of the JHTA, Camille Needham (R) at the start of the organization’s 58th Annual General Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay. Joining in the moment is Director of Tourism, Donovan White. Also pictured (partially in background from l-r)) ARE Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace, Executive Director of Jamaica Vacations, Joy Roberts and Director of the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation, Carol Rose Brown.

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, has announced that he will be reviewing the report on the intensive island-wide security audit of the sector soon. The audit was carried out by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) with support from well-known international security expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow.

Minister Bartlett, who made the announcement at the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay on Saturday, said, “I am pleased to inform all stakeholders that the report on this very critical security audit is nearly completed and I will be reviewing the document next week.

The findings, which will be used to help reshape safety, security and seamlessness in the sector, are also being reviewed by the team from the TPDCo and the Ministry of Tourism.”
Minister Bartlett commissioned the security audit to ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike.

Minister Bartlett added that, “My ministry remains committed to safety and security which is at the core of destination assurance. Once the findings are reviewed, we will inform the public of the next steps.
As security arrangements are part of the licensing requirements for many sector operators we will be applying tough sanctions to any significant weakness or breaches that are found.”

Additionally, the highly anticipated report from the Tourism Working Group, headed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner, Wilfred Baghaloo, is now ready. The Working Group was established by Minister Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector including entertainment, work permits and transportation, among others.

“This is another very important report that will help inform our next steps. The Ministry is studying the report and will discuss the findings with the sector ahead of crafting a new architecture for indigenous stakeholders and inclusiveness in the tourism value chain,” Minister Bartlett concluded.


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