The main opposition Jamaica Labour Party(JLP), has voiced concern about the country’s state of preparedness for the upcoming winter tourism season, that begins on December 15.
According to the JLP’s spokesperson on tourism and cruise shipping, Shahine Robinson, with a month to go before the official start of the winter tourist season, she is “gravely concerned”.
“With the lackluster levels of growth we have had in the sector in recent times, a lot is riding on how Jamaica fares this time around, specifically as it relates to arrivals and earnings.
“Industry experts and stakeholders in general know just how important it is to make an impression on visitors, particularly during the busiest period for the sector, by enhancing the look and feel of the product, as future vacation decisions are influenced by past personal experiences and the testimonials of others,” Robinson said.
She added that there are no signs of product enhancement activities being pursued by the government.
“It is of critical importance that the Government makes adequate financial resources available, particularly to the major resort towns, so that some meaningful and discernible product enhancement activities can get under way ahead of the upcoming winter tourist season.”
In a release on Sunday, Robinson said Jamaica must distinguish itself in the marketplace as so many destinations offer sun, sand and sea.
However, Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeil believes the upcoming season will be beneficial to the country.
In an address at the Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) Tourism Trade Show , held in September, McNeil said over 60,000 new airline seats had been secured ahead of the 2015/2015 season.