Urge 40% local reinvestment by hotel sector
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I welcome the comments of Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett in the February 11, 2018 edition of The Sunday Gleaner. What I believe to be true is that the dear minister knows exactly what will ensure that more Jamaicans can benefit from the tourist industry but continues to tiptoe around the real issue.
I believe sincerely that the real issues are:
(a) The all-inclusive nature of the industry.
(b) The fact that this Government and the previous administration did not adequately negotiate with tourism players/hotel owners to reinvest a percentage of their profits back into the local economy, perhaps at least 40 per cent. This is the most effective way to ensure that a wider cross section of the Jamaican people can reap some real benefits from tourism.
As it stands now, the head tax is a pittance compared to what a 40 per cent reinvestment would achieve. So, Mr Minister, if you really want to help the Jamaican people, revisit the all-inclusive issue. No hotel should be allowed to have more than one all-inclusive in each town or city in Jamaica.
Those with one hotel in each town should allow only part of that facility to be designated all inclusive. Tourists must have the freedom to exit the hotel facility and experience the true culture of Jamaica. Of course, that leads to the issue of crime against tourists, which your Government must also address.