Photo above: Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett (third right) met with the US Ambassador to Jamaica Luis Moreno (third left) at the Ministry’s New Kingston Offices on March 9, 2016. The meeting also included Senior Ministry officials and US Embassy staff such as (from left) Consul General at the US Embassy, Michael Schimmel, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Elizabeth Lee Martinez and Political Economic Consul at the US Embassy, Cleveland Charles. Photo credit: JIS.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar. 10, (CMC) – The prospects for pre-clearance operations privileges for Jamaica were on the agenda of talks between newly appointed Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, and US Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Moreno, when they met, yesterday.
Bartlett who indicated, “It is crucial for us to strengthen the relationship between Jamaica and the United States,” said, pre-clearance operations will help the drive investment in the tourism sector and open doors for the entry of more US brands in the local tourism industry.
Pre-clearance facilities, which are being expanded by the United States, currently applies to 15 foreign airports in six different countries. Caribbean islands which have such privileges, include The Bahamas, Bermuda, Aruba as well the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana).
Pre-clearance allows US Border inspection and clearance of commercial airline passengers and their goods and is typically the same inspection which a traveller would undergo at a US port of entry. As a result, passengers who go through pre-clearance do not have to undergo a second inspection upon arrival in the US.
Among the other issues discussed were efforts to further boost visitor safety and steps to enhance the Tourism Courtesy Corp.
This is Ambassador Moreno’s second meeting with a member of newly appointed Cabinet, which was sworn in on March 7.
The US Ambassador and his staff are also the first foreign officials to meet with Bartlett since his return to the Ministry in his second stint as Tourism Minister.