Scores of locals and visitors of Negril turned out for the first installment of the Treat Our Visitors Right (TOVR) roadshow. The Tourism Product Development Company Limited led roadshow which forms part of the TOVR campaign, was held in the Value Master Parking Lot Negril and attracted persons who joined the interactive and engaging activity. The ongoing campaign was created in September of last year to generate awareness of the impact of visitor harassment on the tourism sector was supported by the Negril Chamber of Commerce.
Participants were given the opportunity to learn about the tourism industry, its contribution to the country’s development and the threat that harassment poses to the success of the local tourism sector.
The programme featured a TPDCo booth for attendees to gain knowledge of the organization’s role in the tourism industry as well as HIV information, which included condom distribution and demonstration. This activity complemented the onsite free HIV testing and counselling which was provided by the Westmoreland Public Health Services.
Speaking at the roadshow, Deputy Superintendent Joseph Caine of the Resort Area division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) encouraged onlookers to consider the consequences of inappropriate approach when interacting with visitors.
“We should commit ourselves to understanding safe practices when we engage those who visit our island. This is the reason that the JCF is happy to partner with organizations such as TPDCo to relay the message that treating our visitors with love and respect will reap many benefits for the country.” He said.
The Deputy Superintendent, in his endorsement of the campaign also encouraged citizens to be more loving to themselves and others, which will easily translate into positive behavior when they come in contact with those who are from various countries and cultures. This positive behavior and influence will in turn provide benefits and opportunities for service providers.
Kenute Hare, Director of the Road Safety Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Mining, in his presentation pleaded with the audience to consider the safety of both motorists and pedestrians while traversing Jamaica’s roadways.
“For 2019, we have seen an estimated 12 fatalities, 2 of which occurred in Westmoreland. I encourage the citizens to be mindful of others who are driving or walking. The goal should be a safe Jamaica that we can all enjoy. Adhering to simple, yet lifesaving rules such as wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle or a seatbelt can help save many lives.” He said.
The roadshow also included representatives from the National Environmental Planning Agency (NEPA) who discussed with attendees, the newly implemented plastic ban. They provided examples and giveaways of reusable shopping bags to further encourage citizens to make responsible choices that are in keeping with the objective to make the environment safe and clean.
The TPDCo short film “Cum Yah” was also featured in the activity to give a clearer understanding of harassment and how it is perceived by both the service providers and visitors.
“Cum yah is important, as it allows us see how the tourism dollars goes through the economy and how the industry connects us all. When we understand the process, then we will realize that we are all stakeholders in this thriving industry,” said TPDCo’s Community Awareness Coordinator Marline Stephenson Dalley.