My Jamaica Your Jamaica

THE WEEKLY GLEANER | DECEMBER 10 - DECEMBER 16, 2020 | www.jamaica-g | I W ITH THE novel coronavirus wreaking havoc throughout every sector of soci- ety, tourism stakeholders say Jamaica’s resilient corridors have been the one exception where there has not been a single reported trans- mission of the coronavirus. Actually, according to the island’s hoteliers, the safest place to be is at a resort within the COVID- 19 resilient corridor, where strict and established protocols have been keeping both guests and staff safe, in line with the health-and-safety guidelines mandated by the Ministry of Health andWellness (MOHW). As president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader, explained that it has almost been six months since the return of international arrivals and: “we are very proud to say that the level of compliance to these strict protocols has been without question exceptional and has resulted in no confirmed transmission to date of the virus from visitors staying on the corridors into the local population”. “The health of our population is unquestionably our number one objective and, given that fact, our insistence on both staff and visitors complying with all our protocols has worked remarkably well,” Reader added. The JHTA head added that, so well have the resilient corridors and the established protocols been working, staff members have now been recruited as part of a COVID-19 ambassador pro- gramme, where they will take what they have learned inside the hotels into the wider com- munities, to assist in mitigating the spread of the deadly pandemic. “Many have pointed out that it is likely that tourism businesses in Jamaica are some of the safest places to be, because of our commitment to the management of our protocols,” he added. In addition, the businesses on the island’s resilient corridors are among the most inspected by regulators, concluded the JHTA president, who further pointed out that, since COVID-19, the country’s tourism stakeholders have been held to high account by both the MOHW and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), sup- ported by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). Mandated by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the creator of the Tourism Resilient Corridors, Jamaica now boasts three areas, en- compassingmuch of the northern coast, southern coast, and New Kingston. In these corridors, tourism businesses must be certified by the TPDCo, for having imple- mented to the letter all the COVID-19 preven- tion protocols, with internal systems enhanced with governmental surveillance and enforcement ‘A Jamaican hotel is the safest place to be’ – hoteliers Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett checks his temperature on the mounted device before entering the reception area of the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville. FILE The new swim-up pool bar Roots at RIU Montego Bay. JANET SILVERA PHOTO PLEASE SEE SAFEST, 13 12 MY JAMAICA, YOUR JAMAICA THE WEEKLY GL AN R | D CEMBER 10, 2020 - JANUARY 9, 2021 | | CHRIS TMAS FEATURE