KINGSTON, Jamaica; June 1, 2017: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett on Tuesday (May 30) launched the Destination Assurance Councils (DACs) for six resort areas, which are tasked with ensuring that the quality, standards and integrity of Jamaica’s tourism product are maintained. The launch took place at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston.
The Destination Assurance Councils, which replace the Resort Boards, are expected to identify the needs of the industry and monitor the progress of developmental initiatives in resort areas. This is in keeping with efforts to ensure that Jamaica provides the attractive and secure tourism product which is marketed to its visitors.
In his address, Minister Bartlett called on the DACs to play their part in ensuring that the Jamaican experience is safe, secure and seamless for our visitors, adding that “people travel for the experience, so we need to make it special so that it leaves a positive impact on the visitors and creates an ambiance that doesn’t leave them second guessing the quality of the destination.”
Minister Bartlett said the Ministry, its agencies and the DACs will focus on enhancing the tourism sector in Jamaica by way of their pooled expertise, noting that “the aim of the partnership is to improve standards, the physical development of the resorts and engage with citizens to ensure that Jamaica is viewed as favorable to visitors, facilitating growth in the sector.”
He emphasized that the country will flourish economically through the partnership as tourism has the potential to be a net user of foreign exchange and to drive economic growth exponentially, as it is doing in other Caribbean islands like the Dominican Republic.
“To build the capacity of our country, the council will identify individuals with skills and talents, for example in areas of craft development; by doing this we will reduce the level of leakage of tourism earnings, resulting in more wealth staying in Jamaica.”
In giving the official welcome, Dr. Andrew Spencer, Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), expressed his confidence in the DACs stating that this is “a day which marks the beginning of what we know will be a fruitful and dynamic programme to enhance our resorts.”
Mr. Omar Robinson, President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), in endorsing the DACs highlighted their importance, stating that it will ensure that “the visitors’ expectations are met and will guarantee a sustainable sector.”
At the launch, Minister Bartlett also named the DAC chairpersons for each region. These individuals will ensure that quality standards are met and maintained. They are Elaine Bradley for Negril; Dennis Morgan for Montego Bay; Giovanni Philibert for Falmouth; Karen Rhone for St. Ann and St. Mary; Errol Hanna for Portland and St. Thomas and Nari Williams-Singh, who will chair the Kingston and the South Coast council. The chair for each region will work with Destination Assurance Managers, who will report directly to TPDCo, the agency which will provide administrative support and coordinate on the ground efforts.
The DACs will also consist of key individuals such as the Mayor and representatives from the Jamaica Fire Brigade, the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF); Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Municipal Corporations for each parish and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, among others.
(DA Councils 1) Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right); Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Godfrey Dyer (centre); and Senior Director, Technical Services in the Ministry of Tourism, David Dobson, are deep in conversation ahead of the launch of the Destination Assurance Councils (DACs) on Tuesday, May 30, at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in Kingston. The DACs for the six resort areas have been tasked with maintaining the quality, standards and integrity of Jamaica’s tourism product.
For further information contact:
Marline Stephenson Dalley, J.P; MBA
Coordinator, Community Awareness
Tourism Product Development Company Ltd.
Cell: (876) 550-0733