ST JAMES, Jamaica— The Tourism Product Development Company Ltd (TPDCo), says that as part of the “clear, hold, and reset” strategy implemented in ending illegal rafting on the White River in St Ann, the clear phase will be completed Friday.
The clear phase entails the removal of the illegal raft operators from the White River.
Meanwhile, the hold phase is expected to last for approximately five weeks, during which the operators will be re-engaged to discuss formalisation of their activities.
"TPDCo sincerely wants to give the operators an opportunity to engage in lawful activities but this must be done within the parameters of good order and compliance," a release from TPDCo stated.
"In addition, the organisation is undertaking a carrying capacity study to determine how many operators can be sustainably allowed on the river," the release added.
According to Wade Mars, executive director of TPDCo, “all our stipulations were ignored and the operations at White River were chaotic".
"In the interest of the overall tourism product and Brand Jamaica, the situation could not continue, and going forward there must be proper management of the space in keeping with the River Rafting Act,” Mars said.
TPDCo says the organisation is committed to working with the illegal operators to regularise them and will offer training in lifeguarding, CPR, Team Jamaica, business development and customer service to allow for inclusion and improved conditions.