No need for alarm: US diplomat says travel advisory packages information better for Americans
Jeremiah Knight, counsellor for public affairs at the United States Embassy, told The Gleaner yesterday that the advisory issued by the US Department which urged Americans to exercise increased caution in Jamaica owing to crime, provided American travellers with easier access to information regarding countries they visit.
"We have done an improvement on how we share information with US travellers," Knight insisted, noting that the US was not changing its travel advisory on Jamaica.
LEVEL TWO TRAVEL ADVISORY
At a time when sector groups have raised alarm about the soaring murder rate, the United States Department of State issued a Level Two travel advisory for Jamaica, cautioning its citizens not to travel to Spanish Town and some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay in St James.
According to the advisory, Americans should avoid the Flankers, Canterbury, Norwood, Rose Heights, Clavers Street and Hart Street communities in Montego Bay.
The US State Department says violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, and homicide, are common. It also says sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts.
President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Omar Robinson said yesterday that the sector group was concerned about the travel advisory, but noted that it was even more worried about the safety of the workers in the industry.
"Crime against visitors is very low, but many of our staff who are living in the volatile communities are faced with this untenable situation," Robinson asserted, adding that many had a high level of fear when going to work.