Jamaica’s tourism officials are again in damage control mode in the wake of the Canadian government updating the emergency status for the country in a travel advisory due to the high level of violent crime.
When contacted by RJR News, Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett admitted that the safety advisory was cause for concern, but he also said the international travel market has become more aware of efforts by Jamaica to address its crime problem.
In its advisory, Canada noted that the Jamaican Government has declared states of emergency in sections of the island and urged its nationals traveling here to exercise a high degree of caution at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
RJR News asked the Tourism Minister whether Jamaica will contact the Canadian authorities on its new advisory regarding Jamaica.
He said doing so would merely be “an act of public relations,” which “doesn’t change anything because I think the duty to care trumps all of that in relation to the domestic arrangements that we have with our diplomatic partners.”
Mr. Bartlett said the Canadian travel advisory unfortunately followed recent efforts to boost arrivals from that country, with “29,000 new seats the winter fcoming out of Canada.