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Is CARICOM losing the Opportunity to get the Cuban Vaccine?

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Que Pasa con el Caribe y Africa? By Felipe Noguera, Deputy Coordinator of the Caribbean Regional Coordinating Committee of the Pan Africanist and Indigenous Movement.

"Love gives and forgives. Selfishness gets and forgets."

In which category do we, the people of Africa and the Caribbean fall? Can we express loving appreciation or do we consign ourselves to selfish ingratitude?

Has any country in modern history, outside of the continent of Africa, sacrificed more in life, time, blood, and resources for the liberation of Africa from the shackles of apartheid and domestic settler colonialism than Cuba?

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The Birth of The Lumi – an Introduction

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The beautiful island nation of Xaymaca - present day Jamaica - is famous for producing pioneering and notable world figures who have initiated and contributed immensely to many fields of human endeavor.

We can easily recall the iconic pan-Africanist leader, Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey; the legendary Queen Nanny of the Maroons; the celebrated reggae singers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, as well as the world champion athletes Merlene Ottey and Usain Bolt, just to name a few.

It may not come as a surprise therefore that now a small village in western Jamaica is poised to introduce to the world its most daring initiative in the form of a digital currency called THE LUMI - issued by the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong, located in the sovereign Maroon dominions in the island of Jamaica.

The forward thinking that went into the creation of The Lumi was prompted by the alarming threat of climate change, the rising and crippling foreign debts of African countries, and the humiliating poverty level on the African continent in the midst of abundant natural resources.

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REAL ESTATE – Important To Own In Your Investment Portfolio

Real Estate Ownership

It is no secret that Real Estate has been the greatest wealth builder with the least fluctuations in history. Real Estate is not just a hedge investment during the fall of the stock market but a solid investment in all stock market cycles.

Carefully selected Real Estate properties with proper due diligence and sound financing structure will deliver real long-term value through income and capital appreciation. 

Unlike the paper investment of the bond and stock markets, the long-term value of Real Estate in your investment portfolio is backed by physical assets and is not subject to wide fluctuations that are part of investing in the stock markets.

A properly structured and managed real estate portfolio can provide a return on your Real Estate investment in excess of 10% per year even when markets are down or flat. 

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Real Estate – Improves Stability, Reduces the Risk of Loss and Increases Returns Potential

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Your investment portfolio will experience volatility over time and will have periods of loss, even the most well-allocated portfolio. 

  1. The key is to diversify your portfolio with low or non-correlated assets.
  2. Asset correlation is a measure of how investments move relative to one another.
  3. Assets that move in the same direction at the same time are positively correlated.
  4. Assets that move in the opposite direction of each other are negatively correlated.
  5. Assets that don’t respond to the movement of the other assets are non-correlated.
  6. Investors spend a lot of time searching for non-correlated assets. 

Real Estate is highly non-correlated to the stock markets either when held directly or via a REIT. By including Real Estate in your portfolio you lower the risk and increase the possibility of more stable returns. 

Other assets not correlated to the stock markets are gold, precious metals, collectibles, government bonds, art, and wine there are countless other options out there depending on your investment strategy. 

Investors understand not to put their eggs in one basket i.e. not investing in a single stock, industry, or asset type. 

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Jamaica Joins 138 Countries Registering for the Lumi Stimulus

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Kingston, Jamaica (April 5, 2021). The State of the African Diaspora, Jamaica on March 1, 2021 rolled out its campaign to sensitize, educate and register Jamaican citizens to access the African Kingdoms Lumi (AKL). The Lumi is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). 

Over 3,000 Jamaicans have registered for the thirty-six-month stimulus package which ends October 28, 2023. Those registrants are part of a network of registrants in 138 countries now receiving their monthly stimulus deposits of 6.26 Lumi (the equivalent of US$100.00) in their accounts each month.

Dr. Linus Etube, CEO of Swifin Network, the financial platform supporting the Lumi says “The Swifin network provides the platform for Jamaicans and by extension the Diaspora to experience ease of access, financial freedom and prosperity during the Lumi Rollout campaign and beyond.”

For more information contact 876-345-4782.

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Eastern Caribbean dollar goes digital, a help for unbanked

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Source - The Washington Post

The Eastern Caribbean has created its own form of digital currency meant to help speed transactions and serve people without bank accounts.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank said its “DCash” is the first such blockchain-based currency introduced by any of the world’s currency unions, though some individual nations have similar existing systems.

It became available Wednesday in four island nations under a yearlong pilot program: St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

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The Airline Industry Will Release a Covid-19 Passport for Your iPhone Next Month

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Barbados will accept the pass on flights from London starting on April 16th. 

After successfully trialing it on an international flight between Singapore and London earlier this month, the IATA says it will release its Travel Pass app in mid-April.

The software allows airline travelers to store verified COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates on their phones. The trade association told Reuters it expects to make the app available to download on iPhone around April 15th, with an Android version to follow later.

Starting on April 16th, Virgin Atlantic plans to pilot the digital pass on its London to Barbados route. The Caribbean island will accept the app at its border, making it one of the first countries to admit a digital pass instead of paper documentation.

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Sistas of D Ankh & Ma'at Sisterhood Circle Celebrates Women's Month with Sa Enya McBean

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MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA- March 13, 2021 – Sistas of D Ankh & Ma'at Sisterhood Circle Celebrates Women's Month with Sa Enya McBean. She will speak on the topic: 'How to Safeguard Your Phusical Well-being with Healing Interventions and Energy Medicines during COVID-19 Pandemic'. The virtual event will take place via Zoom on March 14, 2021 and can be accessed with the link, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3898417079. Meeting ID: 389 841 7079.

McBean is a former member of the annual Caribbean Health Spa & Wellness Tourism Conferenice convened by Theo & Sharon Chambers from 2006-2009. She is an acclaimed author who travels the world and speaks on Health & Wellness topics. She makes Jamaica her second home.                                         

Also on the programme is Dr. Sherrill Chong, who is described as a coach extraordinaire; she has worked in various capacities. Her main goal through her association with E & S Chong Health Ministries is to ‘empower Caribbean people world-wide through Motivation, Training, and Implementation Strategies to regain and sustain Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual health.’ With her expertise in Holistic Health where she provides assistance in lifestyle transformation for individuals, families, communities and nations, there is much assurance that she will be an excellent speaker that will have all the attendees engrossed in her presentation.

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Gastronomy Forum Series to Boost Readiness for Tourism Rebound - Bartlett

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 8, 2021: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has outlined that the latest initiative by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), through its Tourism Linkages Network division, to host a virtual gastronomy forum series, will aid in preparing the culinary industry for the rebound of the tourism sector, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 Minister Bartlett lauded the initiative as he addressed the first session in the highly anticipated series recently. The forum focused on the topic: Gastronomy Tourism as part of the New Normal of Living with COVID-19.

The forum series will focus on food related topics and seeks to offer valuable information to the target audience, which includes: chefs, caterers, academia, agriculture stakeholders, restaurateurs and tour operators, with the aim of connecting the ecosystems and linking start-ups and existing businesses along the gastronomy tourism value chain.

“The presentations and information being offered to you our valued stakeholders, have been carefully packaged to prepare all of us for the way forward. As I’ve said before, it will not be business as usual and as much as our record of offering great hospitality stands, everyone is going to have to perform even better,” Bartlett expressed.

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Fair and united approach needed in global distribution of vaccines - Bartlett

unnamed Minister of Tourism The Honourable Edmund Bartlett

Thank you Minister Ed Bartlett for your advocacy for more vaccines to under- served communities such as those in the Caribbean, based on your research.
My question is : Can WELLNESS Solutions as a Lifestyle change be offered and Promoted by your Ministry as a Viable Remedy for COVID-19?
Can Jamaica produce her own COVID-19 Remedy and Solutions?
We are an Indigenous people who have been imposed upon to use Pharmaceuticals for temporary interventions instead of our own family and cultural cures found in our own herbaceuticls, botanicals, and indigenous phytotherapeutic solutions? (Commentary from Editor in Chief, Sharon P. Chambers)

26. Febuary 2021 Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has called for a fair and united approach to the global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, amid growing criticism worldwide, that advanced countries are hoarding supplies of vaccines, while poor countries are not being given access to the life-saving medication.

Bartlett said this further threatens the economic recovery of tourism-dependent states and the global economy overall.

The Minister vented his concerns while speaking on Wednesday during the latest installment in the Edmund Bartlett lecture series, hosted virtually by the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. The session was held under the theme: Restarting Economies Through Tourism: Vaccine Politics, Global Priorities and Destination Realities.

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East Caribbean Central Bank Conducts ‘Milestone’ Retail Digital Currency Transaction

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Wed, February 24, 2021 The East Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has executed the first retail transaction for its “DCash” digital currency.
The successful transaction using the central bank digital currency (CBDC) was conducted at a supermarket in Grenada on Feb. 12, technology partner Bitt announced. “This transaction is a major milestone in our mission to place DCash in the hands of the people of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union. … We are now on the cusp of the public launch of DCash,” said Timothy Antoine, governor of the ECCB.
The public launch will see the roll out of DCash in four of the eight members of the East Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU): Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia. The central bank been developing the blockchain-based CBDC with Bitt, a
Barbados-based fintech company, after a deal was struck in spring 2018.

Work on the CBDC began in 2019, with the infrastructure built over the last year using Bitt’s digital currency management system (DCMS).

 

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WE MUST GET IT RIGHT

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Montego Bay, St James (February 8, 2021). Woman shot in church while worshipping. 87 year old grandmother shot dead in Kingston. A little four year old shot to death in Trelawny due to a family dispute. All these fell crimes committed in a little country with a population of just about 3 million people. Lives lost daily due to the horrific disease of crime. Crime has a devastating impact on the families that are directly impacted, but by extension on the country as a whole. Crime impacts the country’s tourism product and leaves tourists frightened and scared to visit Jamaica. 

In an article in 2018, tourists from the United States of America were warned not to visit Jamaica, because of how dangerous it was and if they came, they were encouraged to stay within the confines of their hotels. 

This cripples the industry as many industries that are linked to tourists coming and exploring Jamaica will be directly impacted and impeded. Tourists who are adventurous and like to walk on the streets and interact with citizens who sell craft items or fruits will be scared to complete these activities as they believe they might be robbed or may be preyed upon. This causes the local citizens to lose funds as tourists stay within the walls of the hotels and make purchases through gift shops which shortens the value chain and reduces the income local artisans earn.

Other tourist attractions are also impacted as instead of utilizing outside tours, they utilize the activities that are established by the hotel. The original marketing tag line from My Jamaica Travel  had a warm appeal to lure visitors - “ Feel it, Taste It and Explore Jamaica.” There has been a paradigm shift in how visitors will experience our Paradise and it falls woefully short of the open invitation above.

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Bartlett Congratulates Adam Stewart on Being Named Executive Chairman of SRI

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On January 19, 2021 Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett announced his  heartfelt congratulations to renowned hotelier, Adam Stewart, on his appointment as Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), following the recent passing of his father, business mogul, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart.

“I am heartened to learn that Adam Stewart has been named the Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. Over the years, Adam has made a name for himself as a brilliant businessman, leader and innovator.  I can say without hesitation that the mantle of leadership of SRI could not have been passed to a more competent and deserving individual,” said Minister Bartlett. 

Stewart is the second person to ever serve as the company’s Chairman, and previously served as its Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman.

“Adam, much like his father, is a global industry leader with a wealth of knowledge about the Sandals brand and the international tourism industry. I offer you my heartiest congratulations Adam, I am certain you will do exceptionally well, and that you will continue to build on the rich legacy left by your father, who has groomed you very well for this position,” said Bartlett.

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Butch Stewart, Diana and Community Tourism – A Tribute

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As I confront the sadness of the loss, I recognize the great memories and contribution he has made to me, and my journey in Community Tourism. I met Butch upon his entry into the tourism industry and was very happy to be among the lead campaigners for him to be the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) President and immediately saw powerful qualities. Through a relationship of many years, he was very supportive of my efforts in Community Tourism, and as a small hotelier. When I was the Chairman of the Caribbean Hotel Association’s Small Hotels Committee, we made a pitch for the design of a ‘adopt a small hotel programme’, which encouraged large properties to select a small hotel to adopt to give them support with purchasing equipment, crockery, cutlery, linen at their prices rather than the higher retail prices, since we could not order large quantities and benefit from bulk rates. Also, to offer business development, training and marketing support.

Butch was the only large hotelier to respond positively to this programme and sent me a letter stating that he would like to adopt my small hotel in Mandeville - The Astra Country Inn. It involved a launch at Sandals Negril, and it included a credit line for us to purchase well-needed cutlery, towels, hand towels and wash rags. He then sent 7 rooms of furniture, including hairdryers. Among the most interesting memories and engagement with the community I recall, was when he wanted to discover one of our Countrystyle Community Experience tours and we selected Resource Village. The village became distinctive from its Marcus Garvey heritage and popular traditional way in making bammy. Butch participated in bammy-making and afterwards enjoyed eating with the community, the freshly made ackee and saltfish, boiled bananas and fresh fruit.

The testimony of his legacy lives on with the Sandals Foundation which has supported many community efforts across the country. His support continued for me personally. In 2008, when I was nominated for Virgin Holidays Best Personal Contribution Responsible Tourism Award, a competition with 10,000 others from around the world at World Travel Market in London. I had difficulty getting sponsorship to attend, and he invited me to his office, and sat me down in his down to earth style, and urged me on, and provided the funding I needed, stating “the world must know about this”.

This was not the only time he personally offered his support, upfront and silently. He was pleased that I won this Award together with TUI UK. These are just some examples that fall into an overall tapestry of contribution, which others can testify to. He truly was an amazing person; there will never be another Butch Stewart. I am, however, confident in the power of his legacy which lives on with his family and children. ********************************************************************************* Contact: Diana McIntyre-Pike O.D.
Founder/President
Countrystyle Community Tourism Network
Villages as Businesses
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: 876-507-6326

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Tourism Minister Mourns the Passing of Tourism Icon Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart

Gordon-Butch-Stewart_600x400 Gordon "Butch" Stewart

KINGSTON, Jamaica; January 05, 2021:  “Butch was truly an icon and innovator, philanthropist and perhaps the greatest marketer tourism has ever seen. Sandals is indeed the largest and most enduring brand created by a Caribbean entrepreneur in tourism and arguably the world today and the standard by which luxury All Inclusive is judged. I hail him as a father, leader, benefactor, and the greatest tourism entrepreneur of our time. His passing is truly devastating,” said the Minister.

Stewart was the founder of Sandals Resorts, the leading hotel chain in the Caribbean, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International. He was also the founder and chairman of the ATL Group of Companies and the Jamaica Observer.

“Gordon Butch Stewart has made an indelible mark. He has established himself as not just the standard by which entrepreneurship can be judged, but he has established a brand that has become global and is also the strongest statement that small island states such as Jamaica can make on global scenes, irrespective of their areas of involvement,” said Bartlett.

“I think that we can look back on his life and times and draw inspiration from the success that he has had. But I think, most importantly, we can be inspired by his resilience and the fact that he has started from nowhere, and has ended up as being one of the most celebrated human beings that Jamaica has produced in the last century,” He added.

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Accompong Maroons to Host First Virtual Celebration in 283 years

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Accompong, St. Elizabeth (December 14, 2020). 

January 6, 2021 will be the first time in 283 years that the Accompong Maroon Celebration will not be physically enjoyed by both Maroons and visitors local, regional and international.

This year’s upcoming Celebration will be held virtually. All ancestral celebrations will be observed in appreciation of our freedom fighters.

The day’s activities begin with Ritual proceedings at 10:00 a.m. followed by the Civic Ceremony which culminates at 5:00 p.m. EST.

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 Minister Bartlett to Chair OAS Tourism Recovery Working Group

Untitled-design-1 Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett

KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 09, 2020: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has been selected to chair a high-level Organization of American States (OAS) Working Group, which has been charged with the development of an action plan, for the recovery of the cruise and airline industries in light of the fall-out caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Jamaica is very honoured to join these important discussions on the recovery of our tourism industry. As the newly appointed chairman of the Working Group focusing on cruise and airline recovery, we will seek to leverage the collective expertise of our members to find innovative solutions as we chart the way forward in this new normal,” said Minister Bartlett.

The working group is one of four announced during the 2nd special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR) held on 14 August, 2020, to facilitate the effective and timely recovery of the travel and tourism sectors.

Minister Bartlett was recently selected as Chairman of the Working Group and will convene the first meeting on 10 December, 2020 with representatives from the relevant member states, which include Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Peru and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Sistas of D Ankh & Ma'at Sisterhood Present Drums of Alkebulan Kwanzaa Celebration

Semaj-400x600MEDIA Dr Leahcim Semaj

Montego Bay, Jamaica. December 09, 2020. Renowned Quantum Transformation Psychologist, Dr Leahcim Semaj, will on December 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. close out the last quarter of the year’s programming for Sistas of D Ankh and Ma’at Sisterhood Circle with a Presentation on Kwanzaa. Guests will learn the meaning of this African American celebration, experience it first hand and intone its meaning with a view to practicing and incorporating African cultural celebration into their lives. Access the virtual programme via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/3898417079 Meeting ID. 389-841-7079.

The programme is dubbed Drums of Alkebulan and features: Nana Yahmin Hazel Vaz, Sharon Martini, Charlie Bobus and other local drummers; they will be joined by South African Drummers Don Dada and Danny Petersen, Jr.

Kwanzaa, derived from the Swahili phrase ‘matunda ya kwanza’, meaning "first fruits of the harvest" was introduced in 1966 to the USA by Dr. Maulana Karenga as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. December 26 to January 1 begins the seven days of Kwanzaa, celebration of community, family and culture, established with the aim of helping African Americans and the Diaspora reconnect with their African roots and heritage.  

In Jamaica, Dr Semaj has been instrumental in educating Jamaicans about this culturally-rich holiday. He will share his affinity for the celebration and impart the meaning of Nguzo Saba (originally Nguzu Saba--the seven principles of African Heritage): Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creativity), and Imani (faith).

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Are you managing time...or is time managing you?

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There are 24 hours in a day, and what you accomplish in a day is based on how effectively you can manage your time. You do not need more hours, what you need are strategies and tips to effectively and efficiently carry out tasks in the 24 hours that we are all given. Time management is a skill that is desired by many and it leads to a smoother day and more centered mind to say the least. With the fast pace world and with the introduction of the COVID-19 pandemic many persons are tasked to work from home, and duties must be completed within the required time. This includes the same quality standard while managing all the other affairs that being at home brings. Time Management is no mystery or special superpower, it is a skill that must be nurtured and developed. How then can you manage your time, and not allow your time to manage you?

You must establish clear cut objectives and goals that you seek to carry out within a given day. To do list are still effective, whether you choose to use a simple pen and paper or one of these new advanced applications. Writing down what you seek to accomplish sets your mind and day in alignment. You know from the beginning all the tasks you seek to carry out within a given day. Value your time and therefore set that list in terms of priority items, so that those may be accomplished first. When setting this list, you must keep focus to not lose track of what is required of you.

A part of managing your time effectively is not rushing. As ironic as that sounds, it is true, rushing may lead to tasks not being done to the highest standard and you then run the risk of having to start over, which causes you to lose valuable time. Therefore, you must take your time to do tasks well and ensure that once you complete those tasks, they are final.

Be organized and ensure that you establish a workspace that is inspiring. Not because you are working from home means you should work from bed. That is a recipe for disaster and working from the comfort of your bed will cause you to feel drained and lackadaisical.

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Jamaica Wins Top Accolades at World Travel Awards 2020

World-Travel-Awards-2020 Jamaica Wins Big at World Travel Awards 2020

KINGSTON, Jamaica; November 30, 2020:  Efforts by various government ministries and tourism partners to introduce robust COVID-19 health and safety protocols to facilitate the safe re-opening of the tourism sector, continue to bear fruit, as Jamaica has been named the World’s Leading Family, Cruise and Wedding Destination at the 27th annual World Travel Awards. Several leading Jamaican tourism entities have also won major accolades.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, expressed appreciation for the accolades secured by the destination, stating: “We are indeed quite pleased that Jamaica has been recognized by the World Travel Awards for three top honours and that several local tourism entities have won big as well. This year has been a very challenging one and these awards are a testament to the hard work our industry has put in to safely re-open our destination with strict protocols to safeguard the health and well-being of our citizens, industry workers and visitors alike.”

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