As the agency tasked with destination assurance, the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) has completed the highly anticipated tourism security audit.
Newly appointed Director of Visitor Safety and Experience within TPDCo, Major Dave Walker, who comes with over 20 years of military, security and leadership experience, and who has the responsibility to further review the report, has been charged to implement the infrastructure and human capital to address the challenges that came from the audit. Major Walker will work alongside International Security Expert, Dr. Peter Tarlow.
In an effort to further solidify the safety, security and seamlessness of the tourism sector, a manual on tourism ethics will be created by a team spearheaded by Major Walker, as a response to the findings of the report. The manual on tourism ethics for Jamaica, which is a first of its kind, will be available by the start of the winter season.
Additionally, the manual will guide the way in which visitors and workers engage and by extension the destination. The report and manual combined will also ensure that the country’s tourism sector will be adequate, relevant and agile to respond to the trends and changes within the tourism sector.
Speaking at the press briefing held Monday July 29, 2019, for the update on the audit, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Edmund Bartlett underscored the importance of responding to challenges, as discovered through the audit, to ensure that Jamaica’s tourism sector is always responsive.
“To ensure that tourism continues to grow, we have to respond to the challenges of the market. No greater challenge exists than safety, security and seamlessness. The steps that we are taking are not driven by words only, but also deeds. We want the world to know that we are not only aware of the challenges but we are doing something about it, which will happen over time.” He said
According to Major Walker, the report was thorough and will act as reference material to guide the strategies to be implemented following the audit.
“The work that Dr. Tarlow and I will be spearheading is already on the way. The report is rich in data that we will be analyzing to see how best we can craft the strategies to match the vision of the minister.”
Major (Retd) Dave Walker, has spent in excess of twenty three years in the military where he served in various operational and strategic capacities. Amongst his military experience were two years as a Military Advisor in Sierra Leone and two years with the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) where he served as a Military Advisor dealing with matters relating to regional security. Major Walker holds a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies and a Master’s in Business Administration both from the University of the West Indies.