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Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that findings from the just concluded Tourism Working Group (TWG) report are ready and will be used to help shape a new architecture for the tourism subsectors.
The Tourism Working Group, established in July 2018 and lead by PricewaterhouseCoopers Senior Executive, Wilfred Baghaloo, was set up to review a range of issues within the sector including the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), work permits, ground transportation and entertainment, among others.
The intent of the report is to suggest the way forward for the industry and provide a series of recommendations for strong legislative and policy reforms.
Minister Bartlett, who made the announcement yesterday at a TWG meeting said, “We recognize that global changes in the industry have impacted the business arrangements for some of our indigenous players in various subsectors. The report has highlighted the need for us to retro fit and re-examine our own processes and see how our practices and models are faring against the new disruptive business models.”
The report includes over fifty (50) recommendations that can assist in informing national policies to build stronger partnerships and support for Jamaican businesses.
“Since we established the TWG, there has been several key meetings with foreign and local stakeholders as well as research on other tourism destinations to understand their policy framework.
This is with a view to creating a new architecture that will help build capacity for our suppliers to compete more effectively in an ever changing industry so they can do more and earn more,” added Minister Bartlett.
Co-Chairman of the TWG, Wilfred Baghaloo anticipates that “The next phase of the project will involve consultations among the various ministries and enactment of policies at the local level. Thereafter, there may be meetings with international representatives to discuss the way forward.”
The Minister noted that the findings would be reviewed thoroughly and a number of consultations would take place with relevant stakeholders before the findings are released to the public and any action is taken.
“We are happy that you were able to apply the level of rigour to the investigations which have now concluded with this document. We are excited to peruse it and look carefully on how we can apply some of the recommendations that you have made. We need to have further discussions with stakeholders, because we recognise that it is not going to be a one-glove fit all situation, but we certainly want to fit it right so that we protect the local sector, which is critical to us,” said Minister Bartlett.
He expressed gratitude to the team, which is chaired by Tourism Linkages Council head and Hotelier, Adam Stewart. As well as members such as: Prominent Business leaders, Michael McMorris and Godfrey Dyer; Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), President, Omar Robinson and Senior Executive, Nicola Madden-Greig; President of the Jamaica Cooperative Automobile and Limousine Services (JCAL), Brian Thelwell.
Other members include: Jamaica Vacations, Chairman, Bert Wright; National Craft Traders and Producers Association, President, Melody Haughton-Adams; Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Spencer and representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Ministry of Labour and Social Security; Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA) and the Ministry of Tourism.
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