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JAMAICA: A ‘December to Remember’ for Tourism

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Montego Bay, 1 January, 2020 – Jamaica – Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the sector is poised to exit 2019 and enter 2020 on the back of a healthy 10 per cent increase in earnings and an equally impressive 1.7 per cent spike in visitor arrivals, based on the out-turns for December.

He told JIS News that the figures, which will translate into a US$400-million increase in earnings and 181,000 more visitors, relative to the corresponding period in 2018/19, are a direct result of “the best December ever” in Jamaica’s tourism history.

“This was a December to remember. The airports were simply bursting at the seams. We have never seen these kinds of numbers [of stratospheric proportions] before… and the kind of momentum that will take us into 2020 and beyond,” the Minister said

Jamaica recorded US$3.3 million in earnings and 4.3 million in arrivals in 2018.  Mr. Bartlett said Jamaicans can also take great comfort in the fact “that the best is yet to come” and that there will be no complacency or letting up in the pursuit of new markets and the building of more hotel rooms in 2020.

“We should all expect an encore or even more in 2020 based on projections. The results we have been seeing are not just mere coincidences but are based on strategic planning and hard work… and we expect to get even better results as we go along,” the Minister contended.  

Mr. Bartlett said while he is elated with the sector’s overall performance, he is equally “or even more enthused” with the focus and engagement of the local workforce.  He pointed out that employment has increased from 117,000 to 127,000 direct jobs, while generating indirect jobs for another 250,000 Jamaicans.

The Minister added that these jobs are linked to sectors such as technology, agriculture, the creative industries, manufacturing, transportation and other services.  He said that employment in hotels and restaurants rose by four per cent between January 2017 and January 2019, representing about 5,000 more jobs created than in the previous two-year period.

Mr. Bartlett noted that the growth in tourism underscores the invaluable worth of the sector as a powerful driver of economic and social development.  Additionally, he said the local industry’s ongoing growth will depend on having the right people with the requisite skills being available to meet the sector’s new human capital demands.

“I am particularly pleased because we have placed a lot of focus on our workers… from housing to the pension scheme. We have more workers being trained and certified than ever before and are ready to take their rightful place in the top-paying jobs in the sector,” the Minister stated.

This, Mr. Bartlett pointed out, results from the appropriate systems being in place “where we are training some of the best workers the sector has ever seen”.

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

Photo Caption: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett.

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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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