Destination Assurance key to future of Jamaica’s tourism success: Jamaica Tourism Minister

 Tuesday, March 28, 2023 


Jamaica Tourism Ministry is all set to present the DAFS (Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy) to Parliament for approval as a White Paper.

The Destination Assurance Policy will prioritise the reduction of visitor harassment and inadequate solid waste management practises. With its adoption, the Ministry of Tourism wants to establish a programme in each resort region for the re-socialization and skill upgrading of informal operators in the tourism industry, as well as the formalisation of the operations of those who have been taught and equipped with skills.

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, considers the Destination Assurance as key to the future of Jamaica’s tourism success.

“It is a promise to visitors that assures an authentic, safe and seamless vacation experience, which is respectful to the community and environment,” he stated.

The plan serves as a road map for the Ministry and its partners to achieve continuous improvement in quality delivery and management throughout the tourism value chain.

The first round of discussions took placein Negril on Thursday, March 23, 2023, with two meetings: first in the Boardwalk Village with members of the Negril Destination Assurance Council, tourism stakeholders, and public and corporate partners, followed by a town hall meeting at the Negril Community Centre with members of the public from Hanover and Westmoreland.

Referring to lessons taught by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bartlett said, “We are looking at the holistic approach to tourism and a big part of it is that people travel to enable a high level of happiness and satisfaction. They go to destinations where they feel safe, secure and they have a seamless experience.”

He said approval of the White Paper “will make Jamaica the first country in the world to have a Destination Assurance Policy” and the consultation was towards that objective “because that policy can’t be promulgated without the input of you who are the players.”

Stressing that they needed to appreciate their role and responsibility in delivering on Jamaica’s brand promise, Minister Bartlett underscored, “We don’t want anyone anywhere in the world to second guess the integrity of the promise that when you come to Jamaica you will have a safe, secure, seamless vacation.”

He said that everyone had a role to play, adding, “I think the country has to get to the point where we recognize the importance of public order, not just as a security requirement but as a means of enabling a stable and cohesive society where people feel free to move around, to operate without being molested and unduly disturbed by their neighbour.”

He said this was not about tourism but about Jamaicans and their neighbors having a society “in which the rules that govern how we interact are respected and maintained.”

A robust legislative agenda, including amendments to the Tourism Board Act, the Travel Agency Act, and their supporting regulations, will support the strategic thrust.

“In this way, the Government will modernize the provisions of these Acts, strengthen enforcement provisions, and improve our tourism product,” said Minister Bartlett.

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