Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Mrs. Jennifer Griffith, to lead a team designated to re-image the tourist destination of Negril.
Speaking at a meeting with key stakeholders in Negril yesterday, Minister Bartlett said: “Negril represents a critical part of Jamaica’s tourism asset as this area has for decades remained a major selling point for the island with its white sands and sea.
“What we are seeing is that Negril became a tourist hotspot but did so without the adequate infrastructure to support the rapid developments in the sector, but we are going to rectify that.”
Minister Bartlett and several senior tourism officials and agency heads convened a meeting with tourism stakeholders in Negril to discuss their concerns about the sector with a view to providing solutions. Among the areas highlighted were adequate lighting along major corridors, wheelchair access to beaches and a new vision for the development of Negril.
“Tourism has changed dramatically globally and in Jamaica as we see unprecedented growth in arrivals and earnings, the way we do business and how we engage our guests.
We must be able to compete in this new paradigm and to do this we must build out our products to international standards,” added Minister Bartlett.
The Permanent Secretary will carve out a destination development plan for Negril in conjunction with the Tourism Product Development Company’s Destination Assurance Council. The plan, which will receive input from the Negril chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist
Association will seek to layout a comprehensive way forward for the holistic development of Negril as tourist destination.