Thousands of jobs needed for laid-off tourism workers – Bartlett
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says tourism-dependent countries, such as Jamaica, must put strategic plans in place to prepare workers for a reopening of the industry, in the shortest possible time.
Bartlett said it is against this background that the most urgent priority is to secure the health and livelihoods of tourism workers and prepare the sector for "an inevitable new normal...a non-traditional way of doing things".
"Our economies need to create thousands of jobs for furloughed tourism sector workers. They need them quickly. However, unlike the European Union, the United Kingdom or the United States, governments in the Caribbean cannot afford to offer wage subsidy furlough schemes," the minister said.
Most hotels have received no guests since March and the majority of workers have been sent home indefinitely.
According to Bartlett, "The risks and shocks associated with the prolonged downturn in international tourism are likely to be disproportionately higher for the Caribbean, which is the most tourism-dependent region in the world."