Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism is developing a destination assurance policy and strategy that will ensure Jamaica’s tourism product remains first class and that the country can maintain its competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
Cannot allow threats or challenges
“We cannot allow any threat or challenge to interfere with this product (because tourism) is the only sector in Jamaica that has grown consistently for the past 30 years,” said Senior Director for Technical Services in the Ministry, David Dobson. “The idea is that once a visitor books a vacation to Jamaica, they can be confident from the moment of arrival until their departure [of] a comfortable, safe and fulfilling visitor experience,” he pointed out.
Dobson was addressing tourism and health stakeholders at a workshop on the Regional Tourism and Health Program in the western city of Montego Bay Hotel recently.
Destination Assurance Council
Last year, the ministry launched the Destination Assurance Council, which will work to ensure that the quality, standards and integrity of the tourism product are maintained.
Among its many functions, the Council will identify the needs of the tourism industry, monitor the progress of the developmental efforts made by key stakeholders in the resort areas, and ensure that operators are licensed.
Dobson informed that since the launch of the program in July 2017, “we have developed this web-based real-time tourism health information monitoring and response system, [and] we have established regional guidelines for harmonized responses to tourism public health threats.”
In addition, extensive capacity-building in food safety and environmental sanitation have been executed and public-private partnerships have been initiated.
The Regional Tourism and Health Program was developed through support from the World Bank and is being executed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and member countries.