| Mar 31, 2023

Sangster International Airport customs and immigration staff shortage needs urgent attention, says Allen

/ Our Today

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Opposition spokesperson on Tourism, Senator Janice Allen. (Photo: Facebook @janice.allen.3705)

Opposition Spokesperson on Tourism, Senator Janice Allen, has expressed great concern about the inadequacy of customs and immigration staff at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ).

In a statement today (March 31), Allen said the visitor experience at the MBJ Airport is being negatively impacted by very long lines in immigration and customs.

She said in recent weeks, the situation, particularly in the immigration hall, has severely worsened and many visitors have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction and alarm.

According to Allen, Jamaica’s tourism product and its future booking prospects will be seriously impacted unless the issues are urgently addressed by the key stakeholders, including MBJ Airport operators as well as several Ministries.

Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James. (Photo: Airports Authority of Jamaica)

She named the Ministries of Finance and the Public Service, National Security and Tourism, as those that need to immediately find a solution for the growing issue. 

Senator Allen said that in addition to the staff shortage, there is an urgent need to shorten processing times so that the wait times during peak periods can be reduced from the unacceptable 2-3 hours, to under an hour from start to end. 

“The fact is the entire tourism experience starts from the port of arrival and ends with the departure.  Therefore, the first point of contact is critical in ensuring a positive start to the vacation experience”, she said.

As a result, Senator Allen is urging the government, through its relevant agencies, to move speedily to find long term solutions to this growing problem, which if not addressed will lead to increased visitor dissatisfaction and complaints.


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