Published on : Monday, April 20, 2020
The Jamaica Tourism Ministry has decided to offer a six-month moratorium on licenses and fees that are to be paid by tourism bodies. The announcement was officially by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett during a digital press briefing hosted by the tourism ministry in order to update stakeholders.
Minister Bartlett said in his statement that the accumulative revenue that will forego for the six-month period will be J$9.7 million. He informed that it will end in the month of September for the year. He mentioned that the action will give tourism entities some level of reprieve. He said it also helps in the cash-flow situation for a number of Jamaica’s partners in tourism.
He also announced that Professor the Honorable Gordon Shirley, President, and CEO, Port Authority of Jamaica will also chair a cruise recovery programme for COVID-19. He said that the tourism board has established a very eminent panel which includes some of the best minds in the cruise sector.
He said the ministry is hoping to have them begin to work, as early as next Monday, April 20. He added that it will allow Jamaica’s tourism to start putting protocols in place and begin engaging with partners, to get the sector back on track with immediate effect.
He also provided an update on the Tourism Recovery Task Force, which was first announced during a digital media briefing on April 9. He shared that Jamaica currently aims to create new tourism after COVID-19 because the ministry has realised the need for embracing change after the trying times are over.
He mentioned that the tourism board will work on a hard 2-week drive in order to get the framework of the recovery ready. He also said that the first discussion will happen with a major international company and the same company will be working to develop the technical aspect of the plan.
Some of the categories like resort cottages, apartments, guest houses, villas, homestays, car rentals, bike rentals, watersports, domestic tours, contract carriage, craft traders, Ministry approved places of interests and various other categories that have to go to the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Product Development Company for licenses will be benefitted from the moratorium. This six-month moratorium will be reviewed depending on the length of time it takes for the country to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, the task force will consist of two layers of partners, whose mandate would be to provide a recovery and growth stimulation framework for the sector among other things.