Bartlett vows to tackle visitor harassment, waste management in resort areas

MINISTER of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says his ministry will be focusing on reducing instances of visitor harassment and poor solid waste management practices during the post-COVID-19 period.

“We will be placing special focus on reducing instances of visitor harassment and poor solid waste management practices,” Bartlett said, as he opened the 2021/22 sectoral debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“We intend to launch a programme in each resort destination, for the re-socialisation and skills upgrading of informal operators in the tourism sector and the formalisation of the activities of persons who are trained and empowered with skills,” Barlett said in a speech themed ‘Building Forward Stronger: Tourism 2021 and Beyond”.

“This entire strategic push will be supported by a strong legislative agenda, which will include amending the Tourist Board Act, the Travel Agency Act and their accompanying regulations. In this way, the Government will modernise the provisions of these Acts, strengthen enforcement provisions, and improve our tourism product,” the minister added.

He said that the future of tourism in Jamaica is looking bright, despite the challenges the country continues to face because of COVID-19.

“As you have heard, our vision speaks to strategic initiatives and partnerships that will diversify our product, build human capital and expand linkages with other sectors, while targeting new markets, driving a more collaborative approach to our tourism sector, while still ensuring that the growing tourism industry benefits all Jamaicans,” he said.

However, he said that resetting the tourism sector to build forward stronger could only be achieved by focusing on building strong local capacity with a relentless focus on quality.

“We must stabilise the industry, while creating an incubator for more inclusive enterprises and also focus on building a strong enabling environment,” he said.

He said that by applying the Blue Ocean Strategy to reset tourism, the sector will, within the first two years, return to its pre-COVID-19 performance with arrivals and economic returns.

“We will, therefore, continue to push forward with a spirit of hope for a brighter future, which is prosperous for every Jamaican. Together, we have an opportunity to build forward stronger — tourism for shared Jamaican prosperity in 2021 and beyond,” he stated.

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