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(CMC) – The Jamaica government says it has ordered an intensive security audit of the tourism sector including hotels and attractions as part of efforts to strengthen destination assurance.
“I’ve directed the Tourism Product Development Company, which is in charge of maintaining quality assurance within the destination, to coordinate an intensive security audit of the sector so as to identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike,” Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said.
“Security arrangements are part of the licensing requirements for many sector operators, so we will apply tough sanctions where breaches and or significant weaknesses are found,” he added.
A statement from the Ministry of Tourism noted that the Tourism Working Group, which was recently established to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, and is headed by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner, Wilfred Baghaloo, will also be a part of the process.
The Tourism Development Product Company (TPDCo) through its various departments, works closely with all operators of tourism- related facilities promoting the attributes of a quality product, monitoring same and engaging the relevant authorities in a continuous effort to satisfy consumer demand and expectations. The company adopts, sets and promotes standards, guidelines and checklists for the industry in order to attain global competitiveness.
“Security remains a top priority of my ministry as this is an integral component to maintaining destination assurance. We are committed to ensuring that all visitors and locals feel safe,” Bartlett said.
The statement noted that the TPDCo will over the next couple of weeks review security protocols and issues across the sector and provide recommendations where needed. Tough actions where needed will follow, it added.