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JAMAICA: Tourism Industry Encouraged to Participate in Workers’ Pension Scheme

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Montego Bay, October 21, 2019 – Jamaica – Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is encouraging employers in the hospitality industry to participate in the proposed workers’ pension scheme, which is slated to come into effect next year.

“Cooperate with us, and work with the workers. We are incentivizing employers to ensure that they contribute their three percent now, and later on, five percent,” Mr. Bartlett said, while reiterating that the scheme will cover all workers, aged 18-59, upon retiring.

He was speaking at the third graduation ceremony for Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) trainees, which was held recently at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

The tourism workers’ pension scheme, which is the first of its kind, is a contributory arrangement that will embrace some 350,000 full-time, part-time, self-employed and contract workers across the sector. They include red cap porters, front desk managers, craft traders, and housekeepers.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett hailed tourism workers as “the real heroes of the sector”, noting that “without our dedicated workers, the sector would not enjoy [the] unprecedented growth and success [now being experienced]”.  Against this background, he said building the workers’ capacity will further benefit the industry, and bolster their marketability.

“Your improved skill sets will assist our destination to meet the growing demands of the industry, including better service and innovation. So you see, the quality of our tourism product and the development of our tourism workers are inseparably linked,” the Minister pointed out.

Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said with training and certification, “you are able to demand more in terms of earnings and will be able to work anywhere in the world”.

For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Tourism Ministry, Jennifer Griffith, told graduates that the JCTI’s training programme reflects the Government’s “commitment to building out the capacity of the sector’s work force”.  She commended them for completing of their training, adding that they represent the next cadre of workers who, through innovation and creativity, will propel the sector to another level.

Mrs. Griffith reminded them, however, that “it is now that the real work begins… as you push yourselves with your newly acquired skillset to go beyond what is normal and usual, to meet the increasing demands of a very dynamic tourism sector”.

The Permanent Secretary also thanked stakeholders supporting the training programme’s delivery and encouraged them to continue working with the Ministry to further develop the sector.

Some 649 tourism workers participated in the latest round of training, of which 350 were present at the graduation to receive certificates.   The participants are now certified by the American Hotel and Lodging Institute and the American Culinary Foundation in various industry-related skills.

The JCTI was created to increase access to certification for tertiary-level graduates as well as workers in the hospitality industry, thereby boosting Jamaica’s tourism product.

Contact: Serena Grant

Release: JIS

Photo Caption: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, addressing the recent graduation ceremony for Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI) trainees, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

Photo Contributed

Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.

 

Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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Caribbean News

Dunn’s River Offers Special Summer Package

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#Jamaica, August 5, 2022 – Persons looking for an adventurous activity to do this summer are being encouraged to take advantage of the ‘Summa Thrills’ promotion, being offered by the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park.

The promotion, which ends September 15, includes paying one cost to climb the Falls, ‘Tek-A-Hike’ and Zip over the Falls via the Chukka Falls Flyer. In addition, persons will also have access to the beach, splash pad, and other amenities.

The cost for residents is $5,000 per person and US$75 per person for non-residents. A photo identification is required to access the resident rate.

“We have partnered with CHUKKA to create this five-star experience,” Marketing Manager, Urban Development Corporation (UDC), Kereen Cole-Ivey, told JIS News.

She further informed that ‘Tek-A-Hike’ is the newest product offering at Dunn’s River Falls and Park and that the promotion provides an opportunity to build awareness and renew interest in the falls and park.

‘Tek-a-Hike’ is a guided, one-hour-and-a-half hike that starts at the Tranquility Gardens and ends in the Dunn’s River Falls & Park Nursery. Here guests can purchase plants or adopt a tree as part of the park’s Reforestation and Conservation Programme.

The hike is approximately two miles and is an experience that the entire family can enjoy. Along the trail, guests will learn about the flora and fauna on the entire property, which is called the Belmont property, as well as the general history of Dunn’s River Falls and Park. They will also get a chance to visit the Belmont Great House ruins.

“Coming out of COVID-19, we thought that this (Summa Thrills) would have been a very great adventure for the family and for everyone to enjoy and have a good time,” said Mrs. Cole-Ivey, adding that the UDC has other plans in place for Dunn’s River.

Dunn’s River Falls and Park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Persons are being encouraged to book ahead via the Dunn’s River website at www.dunnsriverfallsja.com, otherwise tickets can be purchased on location.

You may also visit @dunnsriver.jamaica and @udcjamaica on Instagram or call 876 618-6052 for additional information.

The Dunn’s River Falls and Park is managed and operated by St. Ann Development Corporation (SADCO), a subsidiary of the UDC.

 

Contact: Shanna K. Salmon

Release: JIS

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Caribbean News

Carnival Cruise ordered to pay $10.2 million for passenger claiming rape by staff

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#USA, August 5, 2022 – A Miami-based Federal Court returned a more than $10.2 million verdict against Carnival Cruise Line in favour of a passenger who claims a former crew member raped her in a storage closet aboard the Carnival Miracle in 2018.

A jury issued the verdict recently in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida finding Carnival liable for damages to the plaintiff, for false imprisonment and sexual assault by a crew member, in December 2018.

The jury separately found that Carnival was not negligent and that the former crew member did not intentionally inflict emotional distress on Plaintiff.

According to a statement issued last week Tuesday, Carnival Cruise Line said the incident between the plaintiff and the former crew member was consensual and plans to appeal the court’s decision.

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