Are Jamaican officials worried over any possible negative impact on the tourism sector in the wake of the USA Today article highlighting cases of sexual assault at numerous Jamaican-based resorts over the years? According to President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Omar Robinson, time will tell. “It is a little bit early to say there will be any fallout. [Some] properties have received queries about concerns for safety, and properties were able to reassure the guests that they are safe,” Robinson said in a Gleaner interview. “Our resorts are safe and they provide that secured environment that visitors have come to expect over the years.” What’s more, Robinson insists, crimes against tourists almost never go unreported. “I don’t think there was any attempt or any deceptions at all to cover up any incidents. Usually when such incidents happen the properties work along with the local police, if it is a police matter, and the other stakeholders [like] the Tourist Board, which would advise the embassies.”
>> Operational changes coming for Bank of Jamaica
In the wake of proposed legislation, major changes are afoot for operations at the central bank, the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ). The proposed amendments relate to the Bank of Jamaica Act, Banking Services Act, and the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act. According to the finance ministry, under the proposed reforms, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke will no longer give directions on monetary policy, thereby giving the central bank greater autonomy and making the entity operationally independent.
>> J’ca Chamber of Commerce elects new president
Lloyd Distant has been installed as President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC). Replacing Larry Watson, Distant heads up an executive that includes Michael McMorris (1st Vice-President), Ian Neita (2nd VP), Keith Collister (3rd VP) and Melanie Subratie (4th VP). Lazarus Bucknor and Michael G. Ammar are the directors emeritus. “Over the coming year and beyond, the chamber will be a more vocal proponent of the things that will maintain and continue to drive growth,” says the president. “We are urging the government to provide more opportunities for local businesses to participate in the myriad of planned infrastructure projects.”