Why Jamaica Tourism is booming when the Dominican Republic is on a free-fall ride?
Is it safe to travel to Jamaica? Is it safe to travel to the Dominican Republic? Many Americans had been asking this question before booking their Caribbean dream vacation. Why is travel to Jamaica booming and the Dominican Republic in a tourism free-fall? Tourism experts are asking these questions as well.
Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are two countries with a very different vision on how to handle a travel and tourism crisis. Recent statistics demonstrate that Jamaica has increased its tourism by some 54.3%.
Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the Dominican Republic. Latest statistics show here a 143% decline in tourism arrivals. The difference? Jamaica is both honest and proactive when it comes to tourism and tourism security. When confronted with a problem, Jamaica recognized the problem and then solves it.
This proactive policy is quite different from what the perception is of the Dominican Republic. During the recent crisis, the Dominican Republic appears to have taken a defensive position and rather than acknowledging a problem tourists see it as trying simply to wash it away.
Tourism in Jamaica is booming after Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Bartlett recognized a problem and sought to fix it. At the same time, Dominican Republic tourism is in a state of free-fall after the deaths of 11 Americans in just one month who were staying at the RIU and Hard Rock Resorts hotels. The problem became worse when reports surfaced of violent assaults.
Hard Rock Hotels and Resorts and RIU hotels chose not to respond to the many questions this publication had, and the Dominican Republic tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia blamed visitor’s alcohol consumption as a cause of death more than a dozen American tourists. RIU Hotel’s response came from the Head of Communication Martin Riecken at TUI in Hannover saying: “We consider this request for a response as concluded since eTN is only making acquisitions.”
Jamaica has taken a different path. When confronted with possible issues of property crime and sexual assault, Jamaica took the accusations seriously, adopted a proactive security policy and made it clear that it would conduct not only a full and complete investigation but would do whatever was needed to assure the security and safety of its visitors. The results of this proactive policy is a record gain in tourist arrivals of 54.3%.
Leading Jamaica Based Resort Hotel Group Sandals, and most other hospitality groups cooperated with both foreign embassies and with the head of Jamaica’s tourism security team, Texas-based Dr. Peter Tarlow of safertourism.com. This cooperation has directly contributed to renewed confidence in Jamaica as a destination and has provided a jumpstart in that nation’s tourism arrivals.
DIfferent from the Dominican Republic Hotels in Jamaica were responsive to eTurboNews, with the exception of RIU Jamaica in January. RIU corporate communication in Mallorca, Spain denied there was a problem in Jamaica, when in fact the hotel chain was presented with a long list of proven safety and security issues by this writer.
At the same time the Dominican Republic hired a U.S. based PR agency to downplay numbers and a for-hire researcher Forwardkeys published a report saying that the crisis appears to be abating. In reality, Dominican Republic arrivals in June showed a 143% decline. Although hotels in the Dominican Republic will not admit it, but reliable sources indicate that some hotels have occupancy rates of 20% or less.
Just a year ago In 2018, the rate of unnatural deaths of Americans in Jamaica was 1.04 per 100,000. That’s higher than in the Bahamas (0.71 per 100,000) and the Dominican Republic (0.58 per 100,000). As of 2017, the rate of murders, homicides and non-negligent manslaughter in the US was 5.3 per 100,000, according to the Pew Research Center, citing data from the FBI. All of this made the Dominican Republic, Jamaica or Bahamas a lot safer place compared to the United States in 2018.
Playing down a crisis is not the solution, says Dr. Peter Tarlow, of Safertourism, an international expert in tourism security and crisis management. Instead, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Ed Bartlett, has asked Dr. Tarlow to head a team that is conducting a full tourism and safety audit for Jamaica and is developing a national tourism security plan. The first results will be presented next week, the week of June 28, 2019, when Dr. Tarlow is scheduled to present it at the Jamaica Ministry of Tourism in Kingston.
Concurrently, Minister Bartlett has opened the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre located at The University Of The West Indies. The nation’s Prime Minister, the Hon. Andrew Holness supported this important milestone in global travel and tourism security, making Jamaica the home of tourism resilience and a worldwide benchmark of excellence in tourism. Other countries, including Malta and Nepal, are now part of the Jamaican model and had opened satellite centers.
No longer is Jamaica seen as a country with a crisis. Former U.S. President Clinton was fascinated when he discussed the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center with Jamaica minister Bartlett during the recent WTTC Summit in Seville, Spain.
A preliminary conclusion to be drawn is those nations that embrace tourism security and safety not only become world leaders but it also adds to their nation’s economic growth and prosperity.
Article Source: https://www.eturbonews.com/