Hoteliers, tourism interests said concerned about slow vaccine rolloutThursday, February 25, 2021
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica — Opposition's Spokeperson on Tourism, Senator Janice Allen, says the failure on the part of Government to provide a clear timetable for a roll out of a national vaccination programme is causing heightened concern among hoteliers and other tourism interests.
“The Cayman Islands, Barbados, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago are among a growing list of countries that have already commenced vaccination programmes. As a major tourist destination in the Caribbean region, Jamaica is now at a serious disadvantage vis-à-vis its regional counterparts,” Senator Allen said.
With the surge in COVID-19 cases, the Opposition is insisting that the government does an assessment of the impact of the extended crisis on arrivals, and say whether adjustments are being made to mitigate anticipated blows.
The Opposition also expressed concern that hoteliers and other players in the industry are still awaiting COVID-19 relief grants which were promised to them several months ago.
“Industry stakeholders who applied for Ex-Im Bank grants in September 2020 are still not in receipt of the funds. There have been numerous revisions of disbursement dates, with the most recent promise being for some time in February. As February comes to an end, we hold little confidence that the much needed support will be disbursed,” lamented Senator Allen.
She noted that the tourism sector has faced challenging times over many decades and has always rebounded. However, the present situation of crime, COVID-19 and the lack of a robust vaccination campaign presents an existential threat to many in the industry, if not to the industry itself.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login