Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has sought to dismiss the recent travel advisory issued by the U.S. State Department cautioning Americans against visiting the island, describing the adverse warning as ‘overdoing it’.
The U.S. Department of State in recent weeks has updated its travel advisory on Jamaica, warning Americans to reconsider travelling to the island due to the country’s crime situation and poor medical services.
“We are now being affected by what overseas especially, the American travel advisory encouraging Americans not to come to Jamaica because Jamaica has too many murders, too much of a violent society. If I might say so, I think the advisory is overdoing it,” Chuck said.
Chuck was speaking at the restorative justice national church service on Saturday, February 10.
The justice minister further moved to give assure the safety of tourists visiting the island.
“Tourists have nothing to worry about. Last year, we had 3 million visitors to Jamaica and only three persons were affected and these three persons were Jamaicans who had dual citizenship and they came back to Jamaica and in their communities, they were actually killed. There were three killings but they were not the traditional tourists; they are Jamaicans who have returned to the island and in their communities, in transactional relationships they were killed,” Chuck added as he sought to highlight the low crime rate against tourists.
The justice minister further added that the damning travel advisory can have a significant impact on the country’s tourism sector.
“I know that the Americans must protect themselves but I can assure you I know these travel advisories affect us, especially on the north coast where we depend on visitors in the hotels for the economy to grow and for us to assist in reducing poverty right across our communities,” he said.