The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says its members are becoming increasingly concerned about the worsening crime problem in western Jamaica.
JHTA President Omar Robinson is warning that the violence could affect Jamaica's tourism brand.
“Safety and security is an important element of any destination especially one that is focused on tourism. Any increase in crime and violence will be a major concern for all our tourism players. It impacts use two fold - the negative impact on the image of the destination and ultimately visitor arrivals. (And) It impacts the safety of workers - some of them come from troubled communities where criminal activities occur …sometimes we have had to rearrange work schedules so they can leave earlier.”
He also said that the JHTA will be seeking a meeting with the Police Commissioner to discuss the crime situation.
“We are going to reach out to him and we plan to advise him of our concerns. What we would like to see are comprehensive crime fighting measures implemented as quickly as possible….,he said.
Westmoreland under seige - McNeil
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for Westmoreland Western, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the parish is under siege and urgent action is needed to stem the bloodletting.
In a statement on Sunday he said the Government must act quickly.
McNeil said areas of the country which enjoyed relative peace and tranquility, are now affected by shocking episodes of crimes.