Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture issues clarification regarding the CARICOM Visa

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’ Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture is dismayed by statements made by the President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Wayne Cummings, in a media release issued on Thursday, July 12.

The release was issued at the conclusion of a courtesy call on Thursday, July 12, in which officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture, led by the Hon. Aloun Ndombet Assamba consulted with the leadership of the JHTA.

Various matters of concern to the JHTA were discussed during the meeting, held at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Hotel, where the attendees conferred at a United Nations World Tourism Organization tourism marketing workshop.

It was made patently clear that there was no final decision at the recently concluded Heads of Government meeting to reintroduce the CARICOM Visa.

Additionally, Mr. Wayne Cummings and his team were assured that their concerns were being adequately accommodated in the positions advanced by the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture and by the Government of Jamaica throughout all discussions on the matter, as all were stakeholders that stood to benefit from a favourable outcome.

Moreover the matter has been discussed extensively within the Jamaica Tourist Board and at all levels of the Board of Directors, where the majority of members own and operate facilities within the sector, and represent the interest of the private sector on these and other matters.

Minister Assamba has discussed, with the President of The JHTA, the position Jamaica would have been taking to the recently concluded Heads of Government meeting in Barbados.

It is indeed regrettable that the new JHTA President has chosen to attempt to shatter the inclusive relationship that has always existed between the Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment & Culture, its Agencies and the various Private Sector Organizations that represent stakeholders of across the Tourism Industry.

The Ministry of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture uses this opportunity to reiterate the following points: –

1. No final decision has been taken with respect to any reintroduction of a CARICOM Visa.

2. The achievements and tremendous investment and growth in the Tourism Sector are outcomes of conscientious Government policy, and this is articulated in the Tourism Master Plan for Sustainable Development.

3. All decisions taken by this Administration reflect the proud tradition of consultation and inclusion, and this will continue with the best interest of the sector and the wider citizenry.

Finally we entreat the leadership of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association to be more responsible, transparent and honourable in their public statements, so as to prevent damage to our longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship.

We will all be helped if this important organization does not behave in a manner that promotes rumor, innuendo or any other form of misinformation.

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