TPDCO and NEPA partner to aid compliance in Treasure Beach
Owners of Treasure Beach tourism entities will enjoy the convenience of gaining additional information about licensing and permits and will be able to submit applications through the NEPA mobile bus that will visit the community on Wednesday November 8.
This initiative has come about through a partnership between the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCO) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
Both agencies recently co-hosted an intervention meeting to discuss license and permit concerns with Treasure Beach tourism entity owners at the Treasure Beach Sports Complex in St. Elizabeth.
The meeting was scheduled as a result of concerns of low levels of compliance from entities in obtaining licenses and permits, particularly beach licenses. The entity owners attributed this to a difficulty in understanding licensing and permit processes, all of which were addressed at the meeting.
The issue of security, as it relates to it being a criterion for obtaining a Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) license for accommodations was one of the primary concerns for the entities, as the JTB criteria lists that a property’s security measures must be approved before a license is distributed.
In an effort to eliminate the misconception that an expensive security team is needed to pass the assessment, Deanne Keating Campbell, TPDCO’s Director of Product Quality and Training offered advice to the entity owners that a simple way to get an assessment done is through the Community Liaison police, which forms the Community Safety and Security Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
“The Community Liaison Police are our partners. If they visit your respective entities and they pass it as safe, based on their expert point of view, a letter is then sent to TPDCO, and you won’t need any other form of security assessment.” This was one of the solutions Mrs. Keating Campbell offered during the session with the entity owners.
Ruth-Ann Lacey Sherrard, Manager of the Applications Secretariat Branch for NEPA highlighted licensing and permits requirements and addressed issues entity owners have encountered in obtaining permits and licenses.
The approach, by NEPA, at the meeting was to facilitate a discussion on issues as they strive for compliance, which in the long run will have a positive impact on the environment if the regulations are adhered to.
“We are looking at protecting Jamaica and as we celebrate Environment Year and Sustainable Tourism, it is fitting that we partner with TPDCO to provide information on how you can establish a business that is in keeping with laws and regulations,” she said.
Treasure Beach which is located in St. Elizabeth is known island-wide as the home of community tourism and has benefited from economic development through tourist activities for decades. Currently there are approximately 50 tourist accommodations in the form of hotels, villas, guest houses, cottages and home stays.