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JAMAICA | Tourism workers to be protected as industry re-opens says Bartlett

  • Written by Calvin G Brown - wiredja.com
  • Published in Tourism
Featured Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has given the assurance that tourism workers will be protected  as the comuntry reopens. Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett has given the assurance that tourism workers will be protected as the comuntry reopens.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, June 5, 2020 -  Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has given his assurance that the re-opening of the island’s tourism sector will be carried out safely and in a way, that protects the island's frontline tourism workers, Jamaican citizens and our visitors.

Speaking at a digital media briefing yesterday Bartlett said, “I am mindful of the public sentiment that we are moving too fast and this will pose a health risk to the Jamaican people. I want to assure you that the reopening will be carried out safely and in a way, that protects our frontline tourism workers, Jamaican citizens and our visitors. As our Prime Minister stresses, we must continue to protect lives while securing our livelihoods.”

He said the reopening of the sector is crucial to assisting the over 350,000 industry workers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, he said many tourism enterprises are at severe economic risk due to the global health crisis.

He pointed out that the country's economy was severely impacted by the shutdown of the tourism industry,with the projected loss of direct tourism revenue to the Government due to COVID-19 from April 2020 to March 2021 estimated to be $38.4 billion.  the estimated loss to the economy from visitor expenditure for stopover arrivals is $107.6 billion.

“It is within this context that we are anxious to revive tourism, which has been severely crippled by the pandemic,” he said.

The ministry said it recently donated 10,000 masks to frontline industry workers as part of the its wider work to safeguard the well-being of workers when the sector reopens.

“We are spending just a little over $5 million in this exercise and we are excited because not only is the initiative facilitating the provision of much-needed protective cover, but is contributing to economic sustainability by generating opportunities for small enterprises to create a cottage industry through the making of masks. Some 22 small entrepreneurs were engaged to make these masks,” Bartlett said.

“Tourism is big business – 80 per cent of which is small business – the restaurants, craft vendors, tour and transportation operators, attractions, bars, duty-free shops. Due to tourism's transversal nature and the linkages with other productive sectors, it also stimulates agriculture, manufacturing and the creative economy,” Bartlett explained.

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  • Countries: Jamaica