Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has revealed that the Jamaica Cares mandatory travel insurance program has received very positive feedback from global tourism stakeholders. He also outlined that international tourism partners would like to expand the program globally.
The Minister made this announcement today during the Tourism Ministry’s two-day strategic planning retreat being held at the Terra Nova All-Suite hotel in Kingston where heads of agencies, divisions, and senior managers within the ministry and its agencies are discussing ways to reposition the sector and plot the way forward in light of the impact of COVID-19.
“This morning the world said to me, during a virtual meeting based in Asia, that Jamaica Cares is too large for Jamaica. We want to have a World Cares. The World Travel and Tourism Council and other leadership groups are putting it forward for other countries to borrow because they know that the fourth element of the response to the renewal during and after COVID-19 is health security,” said Bartlett.
Jamaica Cares, which is being led by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, is a ground-breaking travel protection and emergency services program that provides visitors with cost of medical care, evacuations, field rescue, case management and patient advocacy in all circumstances up to and including natural disasters. As it relates to COVID-19, the protection plan also covers testing for symptomatic travelers, quarantine/isolation in a medical facility or in sanctioned quarantine facilities and evacuation, if necessary.
The initiative is aimed at providing travel protection and emergency services to tourists coming into the island, as well as to ensure the safety and protection of workers in the tourism sector and, by extension Jamaican citizens.
“Jamaica Cares says to the visitors everywhere: that when you come to a destination, do not put the burden of your health arrangements on the destination that you are coming to; don’t displace the locals from beds in hospitals if they are affected; enable them to manage with you and that your costs become your burden, shared by the billions who travel across the world,” said Bartlett.
“And in that context, the economies of scale chips in and the unit cost of doing it becomes small. Little countries like Jamaica and elsewhere can manage properly and provide you with safety and security and a good time. That reasoning resonated with the rest of the world,” he added.
The resilience center has signed an agreement with Global Rescue for the implementation of the program, which will become effective later this month.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, Corporate Communications Division, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4924, Fax: 906-1729