JAMAICA’S GOVERNMENT IS VACCINATING TOURISM INDUSTRY WORKERS THIS WEEK WITH A GOAL OF INOCULATING 30,000 RESIDENTS OVER A FIVE-DAY PERIOD SCHEDULED TO END TUESDAY, SAID EDMUND BARTLETT, THE COUNTRY’S TOURISM MINISTER.
In addition to the Convention Center, Saturday’s vaccination sites also included the Bahia Principe Hotel in Runaway Bay, according to local press reports. Many of the vaccinated included Bahia Principe Hotel workers. Sites were also established in St Ann, Trelawny, St James and Westmoreland parishes.
Tourism worker vaccinations were reportedly scheduled to begin in July but moved up after lobbying from Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA) officials. Jamaica has reported growing visitor arrivals as vaccine distribution become more widespread among North American travelers, the country’s main visitor source market.
Bartlett said Saturday some hotels reported 75 percent weekend occupancy, while Clifton Reader, JHTA’s president and managing director of Ocho Rios’ Moon Palace Jamaica resort, said in a Jamaica Gleaner report that several north coast hotels reported “occupancy levels of up to 70 percent.”
“It’s important to protect [tourism workers] and to get the market to appreciate that they are protected, but they will also be protecting those who come,” said Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s health and wellness minister.