Bartlett praises tourism sector hurricane response
MINISTER OF Tourism Edmund Bartlett is expressing gratitude to local tourism partners for their active role in the sector’s emergency planning and response efforts during the period when Hurricane Matthew posed a threat to Jamaica. A release out of Bartlett’s ministry said he remained thankful that the island was spared the brunt of Matthew which passed offshore the island. He singled out the ministry’s Tourism Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC), which provided important, timely information to stakeholders around the clock. As Jamaica braced for the possible impact of Hurricane Matthew, the ministry activated the TEOC at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston to coordinate emergency services for the local tourism sector. Tourism entities across the island also took precautionary measures to safeguard life and property. “I am truly grateful to the staff and volunteers who devoted many hours of their time to ensure that the industry and our visitors were kept safe and fully informed about the impending weather system. Their support provided valuable reassurance to the tourism community. I also wish to thank all our tourism partners for the important role they played including the management and staff of The Jamaica Pegasus for accommodating our Tourism Emergency Operations Centre,” said Minister Bartlett.
“We have a well-developed tourism disaster preparedness and emergency management infrastructure that can handle these types of threats. I am extremely pleased that there was no damage to the island’s tourism sector and that our tourism entities such as our resorts and attractions are operating as they normally would,” Bartlett said. He emphasised that “Jamaica is open for business, and I encourage persons to continue to visit our island and experience a unique and memorable vacation that only Jamaica can provide”. While being grateful that Jamaica was spared the brunt of Hurricane Matthew, Bartlett urged Jamaicans to keep in their prayers the people of Haiti, Cuba and other countries that have been, or, that are likely to be impacted by Matthew.