I was extremely proud of Jamaica for winning not one, two or three but NINE awards at the 23rd World Travel Awards, last Friday as the Jamaica Gleaner reports.  My little island beat out all the other Caribbean countries to win six individual awards and three for the country’s resorts and travel partners.

But the smile on my face soured when I looked up the country’s economic profile for this year.  Tourism is one of the highest revenue sources for Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) along with remittances and bauxite/aluminum production, according to Index Mundi.  This is a fact.  This was not why I was upset.

Do you want to know why I was upset? One of the greatest and frustrating challenges to our growing tourism sector continues to be crime as the website reports.  But to add to my frustrations, came the news that Prime Minister Andrew Holness had announced an announcement of an action plan to fight crime.  You read correctly.

I would never scoff at plans to fight crime but the news barely gave any details about this ‘plan’.  The news was not news.  It was almost useless.

The article says, the government is finalizing a plan to fight crime. Great.

It also reads, “The Government has the resolve to tackle crime and secure the citizens of the country, and the measures to be put in place will be sustainable.”  As it should, yes.  That is just fine and dandy.

Yet, this really tells me nothing. Just what are the plans? I was waiting for the plans; the details; the so called ‘meat of the matter.’  I was left hungry.

I had a flashback to news made in this exact way months ago when parliament announced it would be apologizing to the relatives of persons killed in the 2010 ‘incursion’ into Tivoli Gardens, Western Kingston.  It was the same, more or less – an announcement of an action before simply doing it.

We are almost at the end of the year and an ‘action plan’ to put it in the words of the Gleaner, is only being spoken of NOW? I mean, I know I could say better late than never but it had might as well stayed late.

Today, all we can show for our efforts to fight crime are promises and reassurances while people continue to die in the streets.  Take up any paper and you will be greeted by news of people who have been killed or shot or any of the above.

So, on the one hand we have great news about tourism and on the other, news reminding us yet again why we are not where we would like to be.

It is really nice to hear about a plan but what use is it without other useful pieces of information? Just release the actual plan when the time comes, otherwise it will look like you are simply stalling.

You can read the original news stories here:

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20161204/simply-best-jamaica-shines-world-travel-awards

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20161203/action-plan-coming-fight-crime-holness

http://www.indexmundi.com/jamaica/economy_profile.html

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