Wednesday 19 February, 2020

$100 million more to market Jamaica’s tourism amid state of emergency

Andrew Holness

Andrew Holness

Despite repeated assurances that there have been no significant cancellations from potential visitors since the state of emergency was imposed in St James on January 18, the Government is leaving nothing to chance with the tourism industry.

As such, Cabinet has approved $100 million for the Jamaica Tourist Board to increase advertising and marketing for the sector.

A statement from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) noted that Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, is currently leading the activities and speaking with the stakeholders.

According to the OPM, Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the disclosure on Saturday when he met with stakeholders from several sectors, including members of the business, tourism, church and civic communities, in St James.

The prime minister, who expressed satisfaction with the conduct of members of the security forces during the state of emergency so far, told players in the tourism sector that the Government has a comprehensive plan to limit any negative impact on the sector.

He also gave the assurance that the Government does not intend to have a permanent state of public emergency in the parish, and is committed to restoring public safety and the rule of law and order while dismantling the ecosystem of crime in St James and the wider Jamaica.

The prime minister also visited the Freeport and Barnett Street lockups where detainees are being held in the parish.

During his tour of the Barnett Street lockup, Holness met with some relatives of detainees and Public Defender, Arlene Harrison-Henry, who reportedly indicated that her office has been receiving excellent co-operation from the security forces in executing her duties.

The prime minister said he expects that the processing of detainees will be much faster in the coming days, but expressed that the violence producers must be caught.

Since then, National Security Minister, Robert Montague, has announced that sections of the high-security Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston, and the low-security Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St Catherine, will be used to take off some of the pressure on the St James state of emergency detention centres.

Holness also appealed to relatives and residents who were at the Barnett Street lockup, to tell what they know and help the security forces find the illegal guns and criminals.

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