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MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica: June 8, 2015: As the tourism sector continues to register growth, moves are afoot to ensure tighter regulation in order to boost compliance with the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Act and safeguard the sustainability of the industry.
The disclosure was made by Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill at the 54th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, held at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa recently.
Citing that growth in visitor arrivals has been trending upwards, Minister McNeill underscored that “while we seek to grow our tourism sector we also have to regulate the industry.”
“We are ramping up our efforts to boost compliance with guidelines within the sector. We have had ongoing consultations and will be amending the JTB Act to make it more effective by introducing stiffer penalties and increased fines,” he expressed.
Minister McNeill said while most of the JHTA members were regulated there were several persons operating within the sector who refused to be compliant and in so doing placed themselves, the industry and Brand Jamaica at significant risk.
“Now it is time for action because we need to address this issue once and for all,” he said, adding that recommendations for changes to the Act will be placed before Cabinet within the next three months.
Minister McNeill highlighted that “the onus is on each and every player in the sector to comply with the relevant guidelines. Compliance with the required standards is very important to the success of our sector as it improves the overall quality of our tourism product.”