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KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 09, 2016: In a bid to further strengthen relations between Jamaica and the United States in the area of tourism Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett met with US Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Luis Moreno, and members of his team today (March 9).
During their meeting, which was held at the New Kingston offices of the Ministry of Tourism, they had preliminary discussions on the prospects for preclearance operations privileges to be granted to Jamaica. This framework, which is being expanded by the United States, currently applies to some 15 foreign airports in six different countries. Caribbean islands which have such privileges include The Bahamas, Bermuda, Aruba as well the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana).
Preclearance allows US Border inspection and clearance of commercial airline passengers and their goods and is typically the same inspection which a traveller would undergo at a US port of entry. Hence passengers who go through preclearance do not have to undergo a second inspection upon arrival in the US. This is an initiative that Minister Bartlett strongly believes will be beneficial to the tourism industry as it will, among other things, facilitate ease of travel for passengers. Minister Bartlett indicated that it is crucial for us to strengthen the relationship between Jamaica and the United States.
I am convinced that once this is done it will help to drive investment in the sector and open doors for the entry of more US brands in the local tourism industry.Among the other issues discussed were efforts to further boost visitor safety and steps to enhance the Tourism Courtesy Corp. This is Ambassador Moreno’s second meeting with a member of newly appointed Cabinet, which was sworn in on Monday March 7, 2016. The US Ambassador and his staff are also the first foreign officials to meet with Mr. Bartlett since his return to the Ministry in his second stint as Minister.