Jamaica’s Tourism Minister to visit North America/Europe on SOE fallout

first_imgTourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is to visit North America and Europe this weekend as Jamaica moves to quell any fallout from its decision to impose a state of emergency in St. James, where the island’s tourist resort of Montego Bay is situated.Bartlett told a news conference that the authorities have already developed “a comprehensive program with our partners” from the three major markets, including the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.nsure future bookingsHe said from this weekend he would be moving to “cover those markets to meet with all our partners and to ensure future bookings, because I think that the winter (booking) is holding and that’s the message we want to have.”He said the concerns for the authorities here would be future bookings adding “we want to look to make sure that we shore up the summer and the fall because we are pushing to inch into the five million arrivals this year.”The government introduced the state of emergency last week Thursday in a bid to deal with the rising criminal activities including murder in that parish. Last year, more than 300 people were killed in St. James and the authorities have said more than 200 people including those wanted for murder have been detained under the state of emergency.Jamaica is being made saferBartlett said that Jamaica would continue its aggressive public relations campaign noting “we are out there, and we are making the point that Jamaica is being made safer”Earlier Prime Minister Andrew Holness told reporters that he is “prepared to do what it takes to address this crime problem” and warned ‘all of what we are doing is threatened by the security situation in Jamaica.”He said crime is but one aspect of the island’s security and his administration was also concerned about its ability to protect and control its borders, telecommunication and financial services among other sectors.He dismissed the notion that the state of emergency is all about dealing with the crime “in our faces, the murders, and the public disorder” adding “it is also to deal with what I like to call an eco-system of criminality at an enterprise level.last_img

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