Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett has said a very public thank you to key ministries and individuals for the role they played in helping the country’s tourism industry recover during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a crowning moment that defines the resilience of our people who, despite the uncertainties and unknown brought on by the pandemic, worked tirelessly to ensure that our borders reopened quickly. By June 2020, Jamaica was opened for business and has never closed. Since then, we were able to earn US$5.7 billion and welcome over five million visitors,” Bartlett said at a ceremony held during the Jamaica Tourist Board’s annual Golden Tourism Awards, at the AC Hotel in Kingston on December 11.
Among the awardees were: the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Finance and Public Service, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of National Security, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
“Jamaica continued its thought leadership position throughout the pandemic and created innovative strategies to ensure a safe and seamless reopening. We were the first to establish a robust set of health and safety protocols that were acknowledged by the World Travel and Tourism Council. We also created the resilient corridors that had the proper COVID-19 infrastructure to support the movement of visitors and locals alike,” noted Bartlett.
Special acknowledgement was made to members of the COVID-19 Taskforce who were responsible for the establishment and coordination of the resilient corridors.
Individual awardees included Jennifer Griffith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism; Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman, Sandals International and Appliance Traders Group; Wayne Cummings, Chief Executive Officer, Arya Resorts Management Limited; John Byles, Executive Deputy Chairman of Chukka Adventures /Deputy Chair of the JTB; Ian Dear, Chairman TPDCo and Chief Executive Officer, Margaritaville Caribbean Group; Nicola Madden-Greig, Group Director of Marketing and Sales for the Courtleigh Hospitality Group & President, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; and Clifton Reader, former President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA).
“Our recovery success is a true show of public-private partnership at work, and we are grateful to have received this level of support and collaboration,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism.
Jamaica’s tourism is now at 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic arrival levels and is 20 per cent ahead of its earnings.