Hotelier confused on government plans
MONTEGO BAY, St James — The Government’s development plan is unclear, leaving the private sector unsure how to deal with bureaucrats, says the CEO of the country’s biggest private employer.
“I certainly don’t understand, as the largest hotelier in Jamaica, what the development plan is, and how we are going to deal with bureaucracy,” said Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International.
“There is still a lot of misunderstanding in the communication of the Government’s policy for development and for bureaucracy and it is still well, well understood that Jamaica is getting more bureaucratic,” said Stewart, who is also CEO of the Jamaica Observer.
His comment came during a question-and-answer session with Dennis Morrison, the head of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), after his speech to the JMMB breakfast forum, in partnership with the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at Secrets Resorts and Spas, Montego Bay.
Morrison replied that bureaucracy is informed by “a traditional mindset that puts the state at odds with the private sector”.
“The mentality sometimes is that the state has to, because people outside are trying to pull a fast one,” he said. Many bureaucrats see Government “as a watch dog, rather than a facilitator”.
Stewart and Morrison agreed on the need for Government and the private sector to discuss how to craft development policies together.
“Today’s challenges must be our preoccupation,” Morrison said. “We have to talk and understand and we have to make policy together and we have to execute together.”
Stewart said: “I love to hear of the collaboration. We would love to see more of that, and I think we need to brainstorm a little more together on how we are going to do more than speaking, but actually earning. Jamaica is clearly in a very, very, very sensitive time right now.”