JAMAICA: Tourism Ministry to Embark on Islandwide Consultations
#MontegoBay, March 27, 2023 – The Ministry of Tourism is to embark on a series of islandwide public consultations, to discuss issues relating to tourism and its impact on the national economy.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett made the disclosure at a Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy (DAFS) consultation meeting, held at the Negril Community Centre, Norman Manley Boulevard in Westmoreland on March 23.
Mr. Bartlett said it was important that all stakeholders know about the opportunities available within the sector.
“My vision is for Jamaica to be at the top of the list of aspirational destinations for travellers. We must put in place the framework to ensure Jamaica’s brand integrity and brand promise, both of which are critical to the success of the tourism industry,” the Minister said.
“When tourism wins, we all win, because this very important industry is the key driver of the Jamaican economy. This sector generates direct employment for 175,000 Jamaicans and indirect employment for over 354,000 others, including hotel workers, farmers, craft vendors, entertainers, and transportation operators,” he added.
Mr. Bartlett said Jamaica’s reputation as a world class vacation destination, with numerous high-quality offerings, enables the country to remain competitive in the international marketplace.
“It also allows us to retain our envious position as the gem of the Caribbean with a 44 percent visitor return rate, while keeping in mind that each visitor that comes to our island, is a potential brand ambassador. In this technological age, good news travels fast, but bad news travels even faster. Therefore, we must ensure that when a visitor leaves, it is with a world leading experience,” the Minister stated.
Mr. Bartlett said crucial to the effective development of the tourism product are the Destination Assurance Councils (DACs) in the six resort areas, which are tasked with ensuring that the quality, standards, and integrity of Jamaica’s tourism product are maintained.
He however stated that except for Montego Bay, the DACs have not been as active as “we had hoped however, this is going to change in short order”.
“Already, my Ministry and our public bodies – the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), are working feverishly with our tourism partners in the various resort areas to reconstitute the inactive DACs,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He added that the Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy is the blueprint that will guide the Ministry and its partners to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery and management of quality, throughout the tourism value chain.
The DAFS was finalised as a Green Paper in February 2022 and approved by Cabinet in May 2022.
Contact: Garwin Davis
Garwin Davis Photo
Photo Caption: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (left), engages in discussion with Chief Executive Officer of Princess Resort in Hanover, Robert Cabrera (right) on March 23. Looking on is Chief Strategist and Adviser in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright.
Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.
During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.
Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.
For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.
Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.
Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.
Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.
Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.
“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.
In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”
The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.
What’s at LJMMA? President explains snazzy equipment
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Situated on a Cay of its own, the LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) is the Bahamas’ only school of its kind and with sponsorships from Campbell Shipping, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and more it boasts an extremely well-equipped campus. The Turks and Caicos Community College (TCICC) is now partnering with the LJMMA to bring those amenities to TCI students through TCICC.
Brendamae Cleare, President of the institution, joined in on a maritime stakeholder meeting introducing the partnership to the Turks and Caicos’ residents on Tuesday, March 21, detailing everything that the LJMMA had to offer.
“We have– classrooms, workshops, a bridge simulator room, a crane simulator, an engine simulator and we also have a GMDSS simulator and radar simulator as well,” she explained.
The simulator building was commissioned to the tune of $30 million and is only in phase one. Also included alongside the fancy simulators, which give students hands-on experience with the boat engines and cranes that they will work with in the future, there are temporary administrative offices, libraries, nurse’s stations and more.
Other buildings on the Cay include, a firefighting simulator and the school even has lifeboat simulators, which mimic what it would be like pushing the lifeboat off the side of a huge vessel and maneuvering it in the ocean.
The Maritime Academy was birthed in 2011 when executives at Campbell Shipping including Lowell J. Mortimer (which is the only Bahamian-owned shipping company Cleare says), realized that there were no Bahamians working on their ships and were determined to change that.
“We had the college of the Bahamas, which is now the University of the Bahamas. We had a technical and vocational institution. We had banking and tourism colleges, but nothing like maritime but [we said] why not maritime?”
And the LJMMA so was born, named after its founder Mortimer. In its first year, it fielded over 180 applications and accepted just over 40 students. It is semi-regimented, which means strict rules for students, just as they would have to abide by on vessels.
The institution is accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Institute of Materials, Minerals, Mining and others.
Cleare said the vision of the school was to become a globally recognized institution of excellence, in maritime education and training.
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