The BBC did an interview with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett this weekend. Minister Bartlett is defending the nation’s tourism industry, citing a retention rate of 42 per cent. He is denying that tourists are in danger. This is probably true, as most tourists leave Jamaica unscathed.
However, I find the logic of this sales pitch difficult to accept. Minister Bartlett is saying, in essence, that it is ok that Jamaicans are killing each other at a rate of over 1,300 per year, as long as they don’t bother the tourists. Of course, those are not his exact words, but that is the message track he gave to the BBC interviewer. Quite a depressing sales pitch: as long as the locals are only killing each other, it’s ok, tourism can carry on.