The Minister of Tourism – Hon. Edmund Bartlett, MP and his Tourism Team was at a Destination Negril Stakeholders Meeting on February 7, 2019 at Swept Away Negril listening to and addressing issue concerning Negril. Many of the Negril Stakeholders in attendance shared their concerns and responded positively to the Minister’s presentation outlining plans for the upgrading of Negril’s infrastructure, social environment, and development of Negril in a holistic way taking in consideration all aspects that influence the citizens of Negril and its tourism industry.
The Minister of Tourism made these statements during his address: "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”; "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”; and “We must be able to compete in this new paradigm and to do this we must build out our products to international standards”; and "The reality of the day, is that Tourism offers the opportunity for everybody".
Negril Stakeholders vented frustrations, concerns and suggestions about crime, visitor harassment, garbage collection, installation and operation of CCTV cameras, horseback riding on the beach, motorcycle safety and nuisance, abuse of Jamaican drug laws, safety and potency of ganja eatables being sold, solar lighting of the Norman Manley Boulevard walkway and beach, positive comments by visitors about current jet skis ban and hope that ban continues, TPDCo formalizing / licensing of beach vendors and enforcement, police patrols of beach and town, Negril Entertainment Association question about proposed entertainment venue area and balanced approach for music regulation in Negril, appearance of Negril Town Centre with zinc fencing & squatters, drainage and rain water on Norman Manley Boulevard, access to the beach for disabled persons, enforcement of building codes, establishment of Negril as a municipality, Jamaican citizen access to beach, need for a public transportation policy for taxis and buses, and how does and can the local Negril community benefit from tourism.
The above mentioned frustrations, concerns and suggestions were heard by the Minister of Tourism, Members of the Hanover and Negril Police Departments, Tourism Team members, Jamaica Tourist Board, Tourism Product Development Company LTD (TPDCo), Tourism Enhancement Fund, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and Destination Assurance Council Members and Area Managers
You are encouraged to view the three YouTube.com videos embedded in this article of the Minister of Tourism’s address, closing comments and video slideshow.