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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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