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KINGSTON, Jamaica; November 26, 2020: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has lauded the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) for their new COVID-19 Ambassador Programme and has given his assurance that the Ministry of Tourism will continue to provide tangible support towards the initiative.
Speaking recently at the Kingston Launch of the initiative at R Hotel, the Minister said: “The celebration of the ambassador programme is a full statement of how responsible we are as an industry and how we are playing our part in this whole process of managing the risk.”
“This is the kind of response that a responsible partner makes. What has happened, starting in Ocho Rios a few weeks ago, is a tangible indication of the partnership that tourism has with health in the delivery of service in the public health system of Jamaica,” he added.
The JHTA COVID-19 Ambassador Programme, which was first launched last month at the Moon Palace Jamaica hotel in Ocho Rios, will continue to see hotel employees trained in the health and safety protocols for the tourism sector, going into communities where they live to train community members in the COVID-19 protocols such as proper handwashing techniques, social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitization.
Minister Bartlett indicated that the programme complements the measures and protocols implemented by the Ministry of Tourism working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Wellness and other government bodies and tourism partners.
Bartlett noted that his Ministry has donated masks towards the initiative and has also engaged in a public education campaign to support the JHTA’s ambassador programme.
“The Ministry is fully behind the ambassador Programme. TPDCo is already on board and TEF has provided 10,000 masks and we are in the position to provide 10,000 more. Our own workers in the tourism ministry and agencies are willing to walk with you in the field as we make this one work. Public education not just by words but by being proactive and by practice,” said Minister Bartlett.
The JHTA’s COVID-19 Ambassador Programme will also be launched in Montego Bay, Negril and the South Coast in the weeks to come.
“Every individual who is involved in this industry must embrace this, and let us go out into the hinterlands. Let’s go into the alleys and into the hills and the valleys and all across Jamaica carrying this message, that the only way we can secure the economy of Jamaica and secure the health of our people is through abiding by the protocols that have been established,” said the Minister.