Security audit of Jamaican hotels begins as international consultant arrives

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The international consultant recruited to lead a security audit of Jamaica's hotels and attractions is set to arrive in the island today. A release from the Ministry of Tourism today said Dr Peter Tarlow will arrive to join the team carrying out an intensive security audit of the tourism sector. The tourism ministry said eight properties have already been audited.

The arrival of Tarlow to lead the security audit comes in the wake of multiple claims of sexual harassment by female visitors to the island.

The audit of all hotels and attractions is being led by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO), as part of what the tourism ministry said are "efforts to ramp up the island's destination assurance programme".

"I look forward to welcoming Dr Tarlow to the island, as his visit comes at a crucial point in the development of our product. We must safeguard the key aspects of destination assurance such as security, safety and seamlessness of our tourism product," Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett was quoted in the release to the media.

"Dr Tarlow and the team will help us take a step in the right direction and provide insight in legislation that may be implemented to make the industry safer, as well as help us develop a new programme on how to better relate and interact with international guests," Bartlett added.

The security audit, which is to be completed by the first half of 2019, will identify gaps and ensure that the destination remains safe, secure and seamless for visitors and locals alike. Tarlow and the audit team are also expected to assist with constructing a new architecture for tourism ethics and visitor safety.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner Wilfred Baghaloo, who heads the Tourism Working Group, which was recently established by Bartlett to conduct a comprehensive review of issues in the sector, will also be a part of the audit team.

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