Tourists are concerned about upsurge in crime – says hotel association


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sep. 25, CMC – President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Omar Robinson says tourists are concerned about the upsurge in violence in the western parish of St. James – home to the tourist resort town of Montego Bay.

According to Robinson the association has ramped up its public relations drive due to influx of calls

“The general perception is that there is too much crime – there are too many murders.”

The JHTA President told Radio Jamaica that players in the industry are urging the government to find a solution to stem the crime wave.

“The industry is very concerned about the spiraling in crime in the west, even for our staff to go home and for the general public. There is this fear that anything can happen to them. They need to be reassured that they can go about the city with some level of assurance that they are going to be safe.”

He added that during a meeting with security officials on Friday, talks focused on the need for social intervention as well as additional cars and manpower.

“It is at crisis stage – and all focus needs to be on this,” he said.

Last week 14 persons were killed in the western parish – six of them on Friday.

The upsurge prompted the police High Command to call out the reserve unit of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), to assist the police in the parish.

Nearly two hundred persons have been murdered in St James since the start of the year.