Residents of Jamaica’s tourist capital, Montego Bay, benefitted from an informational and entertaining roadshow on Friday May 10 2019 in the Sam Sharpe Square. The show, which is a strategy of the Tourism Product Development Company Ltd’s Treat Our Visitors Right campaign is executed by the Visitor, Safety and Experience department of the organization and has an objective to increase awareness of the impact of harassment, particularly on visitors.
The roadshow was supported by representatives of local groups such as the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the St. James Municipal Corporation, the Montego Bay Marine Park, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association Montego Bay Chapter, NEPA and the St. James Health Services which administered free testing for HIV/AIDS and Syphilis as well as talks on sexual health.
In endorsing the campaign’s message and the overall initiative, Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis, encouraged residents to pay keen attention to the message, and to be cognizant of the impact that service providers have on visitors and locals alike. The mayor further reiterated the need for Montego Bay to maintain its leading status in tourism, which will allow more of its residents to gain benefits from tourism’s growth in the city.
TPDCo Board Director and Chair of its Visitor, Safety and Experience Sub-committee, Michael Baugh also shared his sentiments on the importance of the Treat Our Visitors Right message, as harassment threatens the success of the tourism sector.
“We took this important message to Montego Bay because we were guaranteed that this important information would be seen and heard. The more we grow as a sector and country, the more persons will feel inclined to make Montego Bay their landing point and place of stay, and that interaction, from the airport is crucial, hence the reason we continue to echo the message that we need to “Treat Our Visitors Right”
He went on to say that in light of the recent statistic, Jamaica has seen a 3% decrease in harassment, and should work to make the issue non-existent.
“I implore you to consider the visitor in whatever capacity you serve. We ask that you do not beg our visitors, pull, push or try to coerce anyone to buy goods or participate in illegal activities. For our visitors, Jamaica should allow all who come here to feel safe and confident that they made the right choice,” He said.
President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce, Winston Lawson highlighted the importance of recognizing the value of our clients (visitors) and the economic gains that can be achieved from providing excellent customer service.
“The chamber recommends due care and delighting the clients. We should exceed expectations in our respective industries to maintain a competitive edge in the tourism space. These individuals not only come for the sun, sea and sand, but for the people and the hospitality we are known to provide. I encourage you to serve with excellence so that Montego Bay can build on its dominance in tourism in the Caribbean and beyond” He said.
The attendees were also treated to a showing of TPDCo’s anti-harassment film, Cum Yah, performances and giveaways.