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JM | Dec 13, 2020

Post-COVID era will be kind to destinations that are safe—Tourism Director

/ Our Today

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Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, Donovan White. (Photo: Facebook @TourismJA)

By Fernando Davis

Director of Tourism, Donovan White says Jamaica should have no problem regaining its status as a first choice destination considering the investment the island has made in strengthening its health and safety protocols.

White, in a recent interview following a recent cocktail reception, commemorating the reopening of the RIU Montego Bay Hotel, St. James, said the post-COVID-19 era will be very kind to the destinations that have taken the necessary time out to ensure that they have a safe and secure environment for both visitors and staff.

“We have been at the forefront of safety and security as we were one of the first destinations to release our protocols to the world.  We were also one of the first destinations to receive the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) safe travel stamp on our protocols,” the tourism director pointed out.

“Through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) we have invested a tremendous amount of resources in terms of training the workers of the industry to apply the protocols and to be able to actively deliver on a level of safety,” White explained.

Photo: VisitJamaica.com

White added that in addition to those health and safety guidelines the Government further strengthened Jamaica’s hand by creating the tourism resilience corridors which allow “for us to provide even more security almost like a bubble around the tourism industry.”

“With the creation of these corridors, our visitors know that they are going to a place…that they are in an area that 80 per cent of the area is covered by tourism assets and so our ability to engage outside of that area is limited,” he noted.

“So we have created and done the work in terms of ensuring that we can provide that level of confidence to the marketplace and that we have done the work to put the protocols in place…put our corridors in place which, I must tell you, is now being looked at by many destinations as a solution to reopening their tourism industry.”

 White said he is proud to see that Jamaica is being looked at as a shining beacon in the region, being able to do some things that other destinations are looking at and saying “this is wonderful”.

Donovan White. (Photo: YouTube)

He said that “our travel authorisation” process for example, “as part of our entry programme,” is being adopted by several other Caribbean territories “because what it does is allows for the destination to be able to prescreen persons coming in so that you know beforehand what’s happening, where they are coming from, what is their situation and so on.”

“What that means is that you can now make an assessment before you provide that level of authorisation to travel. So we have looked at it at many levels to ensure that safety and security are not just mere buzz words but are actually action words that are being put into motion every single day,” said the Tourism Director, Donovan White. 

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