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Negril Fire Station Gets Ambulance Valued At $18 Million

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Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says the donation of a new ambulance by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to the Negril fire station in Westmoreland will boost health security for visitors and locals alike.

“Negril represents a very critical resort area that continues to add to Jamaica’s prestige as a destination and this donation of an ambulance will boost the health security that is needed for this growing town. Visitors and locals will feel more confident moving around, as the response to health emergencies will be strengthened,” Bartlett said while speaking at the handing over ceremony on Friday.

Bartlett spoke also to the importance of the assurance every destination needs to provide, that if something happens there is adequate resources to respond.

The ambulance, valued at $18million, will greatly assist the emergency medical service (EMS) department at the Negril fire station, which has been without a working ambulance for the past eight months.

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SMTEs Have Key Role to Play in Rejuvenating the Economy - Bartlett

SMTEs-have-Key-role-in-economy Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second right) and Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Network Council, Adam Stewart (left) proudly display personalised gifts created by Bambusa Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 28, 2020:  Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett says Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs), have a key role to play in reviving the economy, in the aftermath of the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking recently at the virtual staging of the Tourism Ministry’s signature Christmas in July tradeshow, he said: “The Tourism Linkages Network through initiatives such as Christmas in July is playing a crucial role in this recovery process by stimulating well needed economic activity through partnerships.”

He stressed that “everyone has a role to play in rebuilding the economy and Christmas in July provides an avenue for suppliers to begin to earn again and do their part in rejuvenating the economy.”

Minister Bartlett underscored that assisting local suppliers to meet the demands of the tourism sector through the development of stronger linkages with other sectors, remains a top priority of the Tourism Ministry.

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Employees of Tourist Attractions Thankful to Return to Work

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OCHO RIOS, St. Ann, Jamaica; Monday, July 27, 2020: Employees of some of Jamaica’s leading tourist attractions have expressed gratitude to be able to return to work and told Tourism Minister Hon Edmund Bartlett, that they were eager to be back playing their role in rebuilding the tourism sector.

 Mr Bartlett toured attractions in the Ocho Rios area, along the North Coast Resilient Corridor recently. He heard first-hand, overwhelming expressions of appreciation from workers, who welcomed the recent decision to reopen COVID-19 compliant attractions effective July 21, 2020. A number of the entities are currently receiving strong support from local patrons.

While awaiting final Cabinet approval for attractions impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic to reopen to international patrons, Minister Bartlett and ministry officials visited Mystic Mountain, Dolphin Cove and Chukka Caribbean Adventures to check their levels of compliance with stipulated protocols and equipment to manage the spread of the virus.

At all three, he was warmly greeted by staff members expressing their excitement to be able to return to work. Their sentiments were encapsulated by Team Leader at Chukka, Alicia Green. “We want to thank you for freeing up tourism so we can all have our jobs back,” she said, supported by resounding applause from her co-workers. “We promise to follow all protocols to remain COVID-free and to have a wonderful time,” she added.

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US signs $2 billion vaccine deal with Pfizer and BioNTech

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The United States on Tuesday, July 21, 2020,  signed a $1.95 billion agreement with US pharma giant Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech for 100 million doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine, part of an aggressive push to start immunizing Americans early next year.

It is the biggest deal to date under Operation Warp Speed, intended to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

Pfizer and BioNTech, which are developing the drug together, said in statements that the American people would receive the future vaccine "for free" in line with the Trump administration's pledge.

Under the agreement, the US government has placed an initial order for 100 million doses to be delivered if regulatory approval is granted.

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Invitation to Covid-19 Risk Management & Workplace Protection Webinar

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The Food Hygiene Bureau in association with Wellness Tourism Network will host our 1st Webinar on Covid-19 Risk Management, Workplace Protection.  Please see below our meeting instructions.   

Marva Hewitt is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. 

Topic: Covid-19 Risk Management & Workplace Protection 

 Panelists:  

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Minister Bartlett Issues Stern Shut-Down Warning

TREASURE_BEACH_600x400 Minister of Tourism with Stakeholders in Treasure Beach, South Coast.

MANDEVILLE, Manchester, Jamaica, Sunday, July 19, 2020: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, has warned that tourism entities that fail to comply with health and safety protocols designed to facilitate the phased reopening of the tourism sector, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will be shut down.

Speaking at the Golf View Hotel in Manchester, during a tour of the newly opened South Coast Resilient Corridor on the weekend, the Minister stressed that: “If you are not COVID compliant we are going to shut you down and whether you’re big or you’re small, because we cannot compromise on health security.”

The new corridor was introduced on July 15. Similar to the North Coast Resilient Corridor, which was introduced in June, this area will welcome visitors with robust health and safety protocols.

Minister Bartlett said: “The start of the South Coast phase of the reopening is very important to us,” noting that “this is a really popular region for Jamaicans and some international visitors, because this is country style tourism.”

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Bartlett Offers Condolences to Family of Tourism Stalwart Heinz Simonitsch

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                                                                                                           KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 20, 2020: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed deep regret at the passing of the prominent Austria-born hotelier, Heinz Simonitsch, who is credited for his development of Half Moon resort in Montego Bay, St James.

“Heinz Simonitsch was a stalwart and one of the most outstanding tourism administrators, planners, and missionaries of the Caribbean. I offer my condolences to the Simonitsch family, and also extend my sympathies to his wife Elizabeth and his three children, on behalf of the Government of Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.

Simonitsch became the managing director of Half Moon Golf, Tennis and Beach Club in 1965, and continued in this role until his retirement in 2002. After retirement, he spent time between Jamaica and Austria, where he owned the Grandhotel Lienz, which opened in April 2009.

His contribution to the tourism industry did not go unnoticed over the years, as he was the recipient of a number of prominent awards and honours. He is a former recipient of the CHTA Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award as well as their Icon of Hospitality Award.

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Bartlett Announces Over J$2 Billion in Funding for Small Enterprises in Tourism

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KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 10, 2020: Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett has announced that over $J2 Billion in funding will be made available for Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs). The move, forms part of the government’s commitment to help these small tourism businesses retool and rebound amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding, which was championed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will be from multilateral partners and financial institutions such as the Development Bank of Jamaica, World Bank, Jamaica Social Investment Fund, EXIM Bank and Jamaica National Group.

Speaking today at the press briefing where the announcement was made, Minister Bartlett said: “Our SMTEs have been severely displaced due to COVID-19 and have recorded economic fallout of an average of $J2.5 Million each. As part of our recovery efforts for the sector, they will play a significant role by stimulating economic activity and as such this funding of over $J2 Billion which is needed, will assist them greatly to rebuild.”

SMTEs will have access to a suite of loan facilities and grants ranging from a low as J$5 Million up to a maximum of $J30 Million.

The REDI II programme, funded by the World Bank and administered by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, will as part of the project’s COVID response, also allocate J$100 Million for Personal Protective Equipment, training, funding for monitoring officers, communication, manuals, technical capacity building and licensing for tourism and agriculture.

“These initiatives are also geared towards getting our small tourism enterprises formalized, licensed and COVID-19 compliant. Therefore, in addition to the loan offerings, TEF will be donating 500 tourism protective kits that include infrared thermometers, touchless hand sanitizers and touchless garbage bins. The total value of the initiative is $J20.7 Million,” added Minister Bartlett.

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Photo Caption:

KINGSTON, Jamaica; July 10, 2020: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (2nd L) examined a touchless hand sanitizer that will be part of the 500 tourism protective kits that will be distributed to SMTEs. Sharing in the moment are (from l-r) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr. Carey Wallace and Director of the Tourism Linkages Network, Carolyn McDonald-Riley. The kits will include infrared thermometers, touchless hand sanitizers and touchless garbage bins.

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications
Ministry of Tourism
64 Knutsford Boulevard
Kingston 5
Tel: (876) 920-4926

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American and JetBlue form New York partnership

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Source: Travel Weekly

American and JetBlue will form a robust partnership centered upon the New York area and Boston, part of both carriers' strategy to accelerate their recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

At the core of the partnership is a planned codeshare arrangement that would give American customers access to 130 JetBlue routes. Conversely, JetBlue plans to affix its code on 60 American routes.

As part of the agreement, JetBlue pledged to further build its presence at all three major New York-area airports, while American has announced new international routes from New York JFK.

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Building Tourism Resilience To Thrive In The "New Normal"

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INTRODUCTION

Mr. Speaker, I rise on this my 31st occasion to address this honourable house in this critically important sectoral debate as I speak of the developments and challenges faced by one of our nation’s key industries, tourism. With COVID-19 upending the affairs of every single nation, east, and west, I must extend hearty commendation and gratitude for the leadership of Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as he effectively steers Jamaica through the choppiest seas in our nation’s modern history. We all pray that God will continue to strengthen him in these unique times whilst we work as a team to deliver success at the end of this crisis.

 Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank:

  • Almighty God,
  • My constituents of East Central St. James,
  • Tourism sector stakeholders and the people of Jamaica,
  • My dear wife of 46 years Carmen, my son and grandchildren

Mr. Speaker, to my constituents of East Central St. James, I say thank you for your support and patience in my continued leadership of your affairs. The negative economic and social effects of COVID-19 are there for all to see.  However, we take comfort in the range of projects resulting in improved roads, greater access to water, a deepening of community development and engagement activities, especially for our youth, housing developments, urban renewal, positive developments in agricultural projects, better sports development initiatives and stronger avenues for job creation.

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