Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has said the tourism industry is reacting positively to the State of Public Emergency in St. James, reiterating that no significant fallout has been experienced or is expected.
Mr. Bartlett added that initial jitters have dissipated.
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He said this is evidenced by the growth in arrivals of 6.6 per cent recorded for the first quarter of the year.
At the same time, Mr. Bartlett said safety and security continue to be a big challenge for the Caribbean’s tourism sector.
He noted that a study conducted on tourist arrivals showed that 30 million people were brought in last year, but about 45 million people could have been welcomed.
“One of the reasons was that there is a creeping volcano, rumbling sounds of insecurity that is pervading our Caribbean space. We have operated on the basis that we are the most stable economies in the world, we have operated on the basis that we have a stable democracy and we have operated on the basis that we are the safest warm weather destination on planet earth,” he asserted.
He was speaking at the 33rd Annual General meeting and conference of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Monday.
Mr. Bartlett said the meeting was “timed properly” to listen to the rumblings of insecurity so that the region’s Commissioners of Police can develop solutions to deal with crime and its threat to tourism.