Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett is expressing gratitude and appreciation to local tourism partners for their role in the sector’s emergency planning and response efforts during the period when Hurricane Matthew posed a threat to Jamaica.
According to a news release from the ministry, Bartlett is thankful that the island was spared the brunt of Matthew, which never made landfall in Jamaica, but passed offshore the island. He singled out the ministry’s Tourism Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC), which provided information to tourism stakeholders around the clock.
The ministry said it 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,” Bartlett said.
“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,” Minister Bartlett pointed out.
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”.
In the meantime, Bartlett also urged Jamaicans to keep the people of Haiti, Cuba and other countries that have been or that are likely to be impacted by Hurricane Matthew in their prayers.