Tourism sector reopening will be safe, says Seiveright

Tourism sector reopening will be safe, says Seiveright

Thursday, June 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, JAMAICA — Senior advisor/strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, is defending the Government's decision to reopen the borders to tourists on June 15.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer hours before Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett hosts a media briefing to outline the protocols for the reopening of the industry, which has been shuttered for more than two months, Seiveright underscored that more than 350,000 jobs, or a quarter of the labour force, are linked to tourism in Jamaica.

He added that a quarter of our labour force and much of the island's foreign exchange earnings comes from the tourism sector, plus billions of dollars in tax revenue goes into the Government's coffers.

“We are carefully opening up to stave off a massive economic collapse and possible social unrest,” said Seiveright.

He added: “Despite the staggered reopening of our borders, not many tourists will come for now anyway, thus making it even better for our authorities to effectively screen all incoming passengers.”

Bartlett is today expected to give more details on a five-point recovery strategy which he said will guide the reopening of the tourism sector.

These include robust health and security protocols that will withstand local and international scrutiny and the training of persons in the sector to manage protocols and new behavioural pattern moving forward.

“This follows extensive consultations with local government agencies, particularly the ministries of health, national security and foreign affairs as well as the private sector, the unions, and other local and international partners.

“In addition, our protocols have received the global endorsement of the World Travel & Tourism Council," said Bartlett.

Arthur Hall

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