'Unfortunate' - Tourism Ministry responds to news potential visitors turned off by Jamaica's COVID-19 protocols

Delano Seiveright
The Ministry of Tourism says it has taken note of complaints from potential visitors who have chosen to vacation elsewhere due to Jamaica's COVID-19 prevention measures.
Delano Seiveright, Senior Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, said the fallout is unfortunate.
However, Mr. Seiveright said the Tourism Ministry supports the protocols, including the wearing of masks while at the resorts, as they are necessary to protect visitors and locals. 
"There are people who have been in lock down for months and there are some people who just want to get out of the US or get out of the UK and head to the Caribbean, head to Jamaica, go on the beach and they don't want to be bothered. So some of those people have been complaining that these protocols are way too stringent and I'm not sure I'm going to have fun," he explained.  
While he said the ministry accepts their view, he pointed out that "we have to look about our people's interest first and foremost." But noted that "for the most part, a lot of the visitors who have been booking, they fully understand what we're doing and many...feel safe." 
Mr. Seiveright said efforts are also being made to encourage Jamaicans to vacation at local resorts as the tourism sector slowly rebuilds.
He said scores of Jamaicans have already taken up the offers.
"The Jamaica Tourist Board is actually putting together and is basically rolling out a 'stay-cation' initiative, which I think is gonna be very successful...As a matter of fact, Riu Ocho Rios said to me last weekend, they had 400 Jamaicans on property out of about 6/700 guests. So Jamaicans actually made up the majority of tourists at one of the biggest hotels on the island," he noted. 
He was speaking Tuesday on TVJ's Smile Jamaica programme.

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