McNeill says govt to tackle tourist harassment this year

WykehamMcNeill-1KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill, says that the government plans to lead a collaborative effort to deal with the harassment of tourists.

“Complaints about harassment are widespread, from both cruise ship and stopover visitors,” Dr McNeill told the House of Representatives, Tuesday, as he made his contribution to the annual sectoral debate.

He said that hoteliers and business people at all levels, throughout the resort communities, have complained about the problem.

The Minister said that this is a primary reason why more visitors do not venture outside of the hotels or off the cruise ships.

“We have to control harassment in Jamaica, if we are to realize the true potential of tourism, in terms of consistently increasing our visitor arrivals and the benefits to Jamaicans. We want the visitors to not only come on the ship, but to come off the ship and walk around and experience Jamaica. We want the visitors who come to our hotels to come out of the hotels and visit our restaurants and attractions,” he told the House.

“The government will lead a collaborative effort drawing on past experiences and best practices. This will entail government ministries and agencies, law enforcers, the judiciary, community organizations, tourism stakeholders, private and public sector interests,” he informed the House.

He said that the effort will introduce and enforce new measures to curtail and, ultimately, eradicate the problem. An important part of the programme will be a public relations campaign and training, which will be implemented this year, he said.

Balford Henry

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