Zika Free - WHO Removes Jamaica And Other Regional States From List Of Countries With Active Transmission Of The Virus

Jamaica is no longer listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) among the countries where the transmission of the Zika virus remains active.

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) yesterday announced that the WHO has removed its Zika virus country classification scheme, which categorised most of the Caribbean territories, including Jamaica, as having active Zika virus transmission.

This removal by the WHO comes on the heels of data released by CARPHA, giving evidence that the Zika virus transmission in the Caribbean had been interrupted for more than 12 months, or was at undetectable levels, thereby posing very little risk to residents and visitors to the region.

This was matched by data shared with CARPHA by Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, which showed that no Zika had been detected for more than 12 months in travellers returning from the Caribbean to their countries.

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Tourism Minister Says Ministry Will Continue to Invest in Human Capital

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Ministry will continue to invest in the human capital of the country by developing a number of initiatives through the Centre for Tourism and Innovation.

He points out that tourism authorities and stakeholders recognise that “purposeful action” is required to promote and market Jamaica as a leading global destination.

“Purposeful action will enable the development and security of the well-being and quality of life for the thousands of tourism workers. We now have to ensure that the tourism workers nationally are assured… as we seek to balance human development with economic development,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett was speaking at a conference, titled ‘Governance for Tomorrow: Innovation, Politics, Policy and Sustainable Development’, hosted by the University of the West Indies, in collaboration with the Office of the Prime Minister, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on July 27.

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Tourism and Agriculture – Partners for Development

Kingston, July 20, 2018 - The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) strongly refutes the claim that hotels only purchase a small portion of their agricultural inputs locally.

The "Tourism Demand Study" conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment in 2015, found that 69% of the responding businesses reported that less than 10% of their total expenditure on agricultural produce had been allocated to imported items during the previous year. This percentage is even higher for smaller properties who source all of their agricultural produce locally. A new demand study is now being carried out and we anticipate that the percentage for locally grown agricultural produce purchased by the industry will increase significantly.

Over the past several years the JHTA has focused on building partnerships, collaboration and business relationships with other sectors of the economy, with positive results. We continue to support a range of activities to strengthen the linkages between the tourism and agricultural sectors. In 2015 the JHTA started the Speed Networking Event which is now held annually in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica Agricultural Society, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Jamaica Business Development Corporation and other partners. This event facilitates one-on-one meetings between the CEOs and other Decision Makers within the hotel industry and suppliers of goods and services to the Tourism Industry.

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Opportunities Untapped; Tourism Stakeholders Purchasing locally and Receptive to Buying

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, June 22, 2018

The JHTA is encouraging local entrepreneurs, agricultural interests and businesses to address some of the untapped opportunities which exist in linkages to the tourism industry.

According to the 2015 Tourism Demand Study, a project of the Ministry of Tourism: “The prospect for import substitution is great as there exists a high level of receptivity among tourism sector stakeholders to local goods and services. This could be converted to business opportunities as the projected demand for agricultural products and manufactured goods indicate that there is tremendous opportunity for trade.”

The JHTA continues to favour and actively encourage the purchase of locally produced goods.

Speaking at the recently concluded 57th Annual General Meeting, held on Saturday June 16, 2018 at the Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios, Omar Robinson, President, JHTA stated: “We are pleased with the Government’s commitment to provide $25 million per year over three years to implement a plastic bottle recycling program. This action will not only reduce the amount of plastic bottles that are disposed of improperly but it will encourage good environmental practices among all Jamaicans. We also take this opportunity to encourage all businesses across the island to replace single use plastic containers with biodegradable or reusable alternatives. Each of us have a part to play to preserve our environment and we encourage you to find more environmentally-friendly solutions to plastic cups, straws and Styrofoam.” 

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