Jamaica points to success in stemming tourist harassment

Jamaica tourism harassment

The Jamaica government says the anti-visitor harassment measures being implemented in resort areas are bearing fruit and that positive outcomes are evidenced in Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) visitor opinion surveys which show 60 per cent of the tourists visiting Jamaica recently were satisfied with their experience.

Significant repeat visitors

“Also noteworthy is the fact that 42 per cent of our visitors are repeat guests. Our intention is for those numbers to be even higher as the visit should resonate so well with those who land on our soil, that they will unhesitatingly and consistently give us an A+ rating,” said Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

The government said the anti-visitor harassment measures include training programs and sensitization workshops for frontline industry representatives interacting directly with visitors; and heightened vigilance and patrols by resort security officers.

Visitors are moving around freely

The government also reported the anti-visitor harassment measures are enabling guests to move around more freely, which contributed to Jamaica being recently voted the number one Caribbean destination and among the top 20 globally, by the highly respected American travel and restaurant website company, TripAdvisor, Inc.

These developments are welcomed news for the government, in light of industry stakeholders’ concerns that unless visitor harassment is decisively addressed, it could potentially erode brand Jamaica’s renowned as a highly sought after destination of choice for tourists, and overshadow the sector’s record visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings.

Ten percent of national GDP

Bartlett said that destination assurance, resulting from the creation of a safe and comfortable environment for visitors, is crucial to the tourism industry’s ongoing expansion. He said  Jamaica can proudly boast that tourism contributes to approximately 10 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), and impacts sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction and entertainment.

“It is our goal (to ensure) that visitors who step on our soil will feel a sense of peace of mind. This will allow them to traverse the nooks and crannies of the island and experience the rich taste of our culture and the many unique and diverse offerings,” Bartlett said.

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