In a move, it said, is designed to honour the medical teams who have been working on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has announced that it is providing free hotel stays for local health care professionals.
President of the JHTA Omar Robinson explained that “participating association members will provide free rooms and day passes to contribute to the de-stressing of these professionals who have been working night and day to keep the rest of us safe”.
The organisation will be collaborating with the ministries of health and tourism to coordinate the activity, he said.
The tourism sector is set to begin receiving guests today after a three-month closure as a result of the pandemic.
“While the hospitality and tourism industry has been severely affected by the pandemic, we want to ensure we say thank you appropriately to the people who have selflessly been risking their own health for the country,” said Robinson.
“Individual hotels have already been making contributions at various levels, including providing accommodations for health care workers, as well as nationals in quarantine, at significantly discounted rates, and the provision of food and care packages to various communities. In preparation for the reopening of the tourism industry, we have implemented all the required protocols to provide as safe an environment as possible for all of our employees and all of our guests and we look forward to hosting our medical professionals,” the JHTA head said.
Commenting on the offer, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett described the association’s efforts as admirable.
“I want to record my appreciation to the JHTA and the hotel stakeholders who have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in a most admirable way. They have rallied around the development of safety protocols and personal protective equipment and helped in the preparation of the hotels for the reopening to guests on June 15, 2020.”
“The summer season is very important to Jamaica and we want to ensure that our local guests, who are a big part of our market, are comfortable with the arrangements we have put in place. [We’re] anticipating a good start to the season and an extension of the wonderful experience for which Jamaica is well known,” he added.