Tourism Product Development Company Limited Licensing Administration Manager Sheryll Lewis speaks to JIS News at the entity’s ‘Bring Your Application Day’ event held on Thursday 2 June at the Montego Bay Convention Center in Rose Hall, St James. (Photo: JIS)
ST JAMES, Jamaica – The Tourism Development Company Limited (TPDCo) reminds owners and operators of tourism entities that it is illegal to operate without being licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Speaking to JIS News, Licensing Processing Administration Manager at TPDCo, Sheryll Lewis, said that several tourism entities are operating in violation of the law, which is a violation of the JTB Act (1955).
“You can be sued. The police will give you a summons if you are found guilty of breaking the law. You will go to court and… you could be found guilty, and you will pay the required fine,” she said.
“Under the JTB Act, persons are required, once they operate a tourism entity, for example, a hotel, villa, guest house, water sports and attraction; if you are a contract transport operator or an artisanal trader in any of the designated markets, you must have a JTB license,” she explained.
To improve compliance, Lewis said the TPDCo is running a series of “Bring Your Application Day” enrollment drives in resort areas around the island to facilitate on-site licensing for tourism businesses. .
The second in the series of events was held at the Montego Bay Convention Center in Rose Hall, St James, on Thursday June 2, where dozens of tourism entrepreneurs came to register their business and request information on the licensing process.
Another goal was to [link them with] the agencies they will need to get a permit or certificate from,” Lewis said.
These include municipal corporations, the fire department; public health authorities, insurance brokers, the National Environmental Planning Agency, the Jamaica Police Force and the Jamaica Maritime Authority.
She said individuals could also enroll in the tourism workers’ pension scheme, which covers all workers in the sector, aged 18 to 59, whether permanent, contract or self-employed.
The next staging of the TPDCo enrollment campaigns will take place on June 14 at the Rayon Hotel in Negril, Westmoreland, then will move to the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston on June 24. It will be followed by a staging at Breds, Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth on July 12.
Just last week, it was reported that Jamaica Zoo Attractions Limited did not have a TPDCo license to operate as an attraction, after the entity came under the spotlight when an employee had his fingered by a lion after taunting the animal, an incident that went viral on social media.
READ: WATCH: Visitors stunned after zoo attendant’s finger was bitten by lion at Jamaica Zoo
The zoo has since been closed due to several environmental permit violations.
READ: Jamaica zoo closed after lion bite incident