THE Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has welcomed the appointment of Dr Wykeham McNeil as minister of tourism and entertainment.
"Having been involved in the business of tourism at all levels throughout his life, Dr McNeil brings to his new post a thorough knowledge of tourism and a track record of mutual respect with all players in our industry," said JHTA president, Evelyn Smith, in a release yesterday.
"He is also well-known by our critical partners in the international travel markets. His appointment to this post by Prime Minister The Most Hon Portia Simpson Miller is a positive signal to our industry and to our international partners."
McNeil was a former junior tourism minister in the previous People's National Party (PNP) administration and succeeds Edmund Bartlett who served as the minister of tourism during the last Jamaica Labour Party administration.
Smith said the JHTA also welcomed the appointment of Damion Crawford as the minister of state in the ministry.
"His background as a lecturer in tourism at the University of the West Indies and his well-known zeal will certainly be helpful at this critical time in our industry," she argued.
She said the JHTA is looking forward to working with both ministers "as together we identify and exploit the lucrative linkages connecting tourism and all other industries in our country."
"The JHTA has always enjoyed an excellent relationship with all ministers of tourism. We are very confident that with the appointment of Dr Wykeham McNeil as minister of tourism and entertainment this important tradition will continue as we confront the challenges that face us in our quest to create a more enabling environment for the betterment of our industry and above all, our country," she added.