Jamaica is creating a “tourism recovery task force” in a bid to help the country’s industry recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The task force will consist of two layers of partners with a mission to “provide a recovery and growth stimulation framework for the sector,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Tourism.
“We will be working on a hard 2-week drive, to get the framework of the recovery ready, for first discussion with a major international company. This company will be working with us to develop the technical aspect of the plan,” said Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “We are going to be taking that plan to our partners. We want to create a new tourism after COVID-19 because we recognize the changes that are going to take place.”
Jamaica has also announced plans for a “cruise recovery program,” which will be chaired by Port Authority of Jamaica President and CEO Gordon Shirley.
“The panel that we have established is a very eminent one, which includes some of the best minds in the cruise sector,” Bartlett said. “This will allow us to start putting protocols in place and begin engaging with our partners, to get that sector back on track as quickly as possible.”
In a move to help stakeholders during the crisis, the country has also announced a six-month moratorium on licenses and fees paid by tourism entities, according to Bartlett.
The move covers tourism entities like resort cottages, apartments, villas, car rentals, bike rentals, watersports and craft traders, among others.
Bartlett said he hoped the move would give “some level of reprieve and hopefully help with the cash-flow situation for a number of our partners.”
The moratorium will be reviewed “depending on the length of time it takes for the country to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the Ministry of Tourism.