Jamaica's Collapse in International Tourism Ranking a Major Blow ! - Shahine Robinson
Opposition Spokesperson for Tourism and Cruise Shipping, Shahine Robinson is today expressing deep concern about Jamaica’s worst ever ranking in the Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 published biennially by the internationally respected Swiss-based World Economic Forum.
“With growth rates already lagging way behind competing destinations in the region, the stubborn, lackluster and visionless approach of Tourism Minister, Dr. Wykeham McNeill adds nothing to turning the sector around. Jamaica dropped 9 places to rank 76 out of 141 countries, the worst ever, and leaving it behind is a slew of regional destinations including Trinidad and Tobago” – said Ms. Robinson. She also noted that when the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) left office in 2011 the country ranked 65 out of 139 countries.
The report ranked countries based on their score in its travel and competitiveness index. The index is comprised of four sub-indices including: enabling environment; travel & tourism policies and enabling conditions; infrastructure; and natural and cultural resources.
Ms. Robinson noted that safety and security concerns continue to be a major bugbear to Jamaica’s tourism sector and again used the opportunity to call on the Tourism and National Security Ministers to more seriously address the problem in the major resort areas. She argued for an increase in the number of police units, more frequent patrols, speedy investigations and community policing as some of the ways to better tackle the challenge. Beyond that she noted that Jamaica’s walled in tourism industry will have to overtime augment itself to better benefit the Jamaican people and allow for more integration with people and their communities.
Ms. Robinson reminded Minister McNeill to desist with immediate effect from continued gloating at Jamaica’s less than average growth performance and instead focus on preparing the country for the imminent opening up of Cuba, propelling higher tourist arrival growth rates, significantly improving the nation’s tourism product and tackling crime and violence.