The Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica Tourism Minister, indicated the Ministry is moving to bring the document before Parliament in the current fiscal year.
Minister Bartlett made the announcement during his Sectoral Debate closing presentation earlier this week. He said: “We have undertaken stakeholder consultations with the aim of finalizing the Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy as a White Paper for tabling in Parliament in the current Financial Year. The stakeholder engagements are 95 per cent complete with six town hall meetings already being held in Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Treasure Beach, Mandeville and Kingston.”
The DAFS comprises tourism strategies that will enable Jamaica to deliver on the brand promise to its visitors of a safe, secure and seamless visit, which is respectful to the community and environment. It has been approved by Cabinet as a Green Paper and the last round of consultations before it is finalized as a White Paper will continue in St. Thomas today (June 22) and Portland on June 23.
The tourism minister also highlighted several other policy initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry to boost resilience and sustainability in the sector.
Among these are the revision of the National Community Tourism Policy and Strategy, the development of the Water Sports Policy and the revision of the Tourism Linkages Networks Policy, to be retitled the Tourism Linkages Network Policy and Action Plan.
Additionally, Minister Bartlett emphasized the progress that has been made in the development of the Tourism Strategy and Action Plan which is being executed with the technical support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
He said: “The strategy addresses the important issues of economic growth and inclusion, environmental sustainability, cultural preservation, human capital development, and maintaining balance between the quality of the visitor experience and the quality of life of our citizens.”
“We have begun a series of island wide workshops to obtain valuable feedback and insights that will help shape the direction of future tourism initiatives. We have already held successful workshops in Montego Bay and Port Antonio with consultations currently underway in Ocho Rios. Workshops in other resort destinations will take place between now and September,” Minister Bartlett continued.