JHTA Wants Greater Share Of Market For Small Properties

Omar Robinson, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), is concerned that despite an influx of close to 2.5 million stopover visitors in 2018, smaller properties are still not cashing in on the nation’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry in a significant way.

Robinson, who was speaking at the recent 58th annual general meeting (AGM) and convention of the JHTA, said that a marketing campaign was needed to help boost the earning potential in the industry, especially for smaller properties.

“Small hotels continue to be the backbone of Jamaica’s tourism, and, as such, sufficient marketing programmes should be implemented to help improve the profitability of this sector,” said Robinson.

“It must be noted that while our larger properties did extremely well, smaller properties continue to experience low to average occupancies, except during some peak periods,” added Robinson.

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JHTA Stands Firm In Support Of Jet Ski Ban

With deaths and injuries resulting from jet-ski related accidents still fresh in many minds, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is standing resolute in its opposition to the lifting of the four-year-old ban on the popular watercraft.

“The central issue is that jet skis have been proven to be extremely dangerous and have resulted in violent and tragic injuries and in far too many instances deaths,” said JHTA boss Omar Robinson while speaking at the association’s recent annual general meeting in Montego Bay, St James.

Robinson noted that the operation of jet skis, especially unlicensed ones, caused major concerns several years ago when a nine-year-old girl was killed in an accident involving one of the watercraft.

“Jet skis have been proven to be a most disruptive watersports activity in Jamaica,” said Robinson.

“They have been used by licensed and unlicensed operators for uncontrollable solicitation of visitors as well as for the unchecked distribution and sale of drugs.”

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JHTA: Airbnb Not Just A Small Man’s Hustle

With rates ranging from US$10 to US$4,140 per night, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) is contending that local Airbnb-type operators cannot be considered as “just a small man’s hustle”.

JHTA President Omar Robinson, in a stinging response to criticisms levelled against the association since it called for a minimum payment of tax by the shared economy, said that while the industry includes a number of small and modest properties, some facilities are very large and luxurious.

Airbnb is an online platform that allows persons to arrange or offer lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences.

“Let us, therefore, dispel this view that Airbnb-type businesses are just a small man’s hustle! Some very significant businesses and individuals are invested in Airbnb-type ventures,” Robinson said in a media release on Thursday.

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JHTA responds to Jamaica Observer Editorial entitled “Gov't must not fall into JHTA trap on short-term rentals"

JHTA responds to Jamaica Observer Editorial entitled “Gov't must not fall into JHTA trap on short-term rentals

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, July 4, 2019 – The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) notes with concern the recent discussions on Social Media as well as in the print and broadcast media surrounding our position on the regulation of Airbnb and other types of accommodation-sharing platforms that operate here in Jamaica.

Of particular note is the Editorial published in the Daily Observer of July, 4, 2019 which incorrectly asserted that the JHTA is attempting to “hijack the Government to straightjacket our competition”. Nothing could be further from the truth and is in fact an offensive overreach by such a respected newspaper. Competition is and should always be the name of the game in the tourism industry. Our members, small, medium and large, all compete everyday locally, regionally and internationally for their share of business.

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