Opposition Spokesman on Tourism, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says his fears are being realized regarding the operations of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, TEF.
Dr. McNeill says the TEF is already showing signs of declining resources.
This, after the government announced it would be redirecting its resources into the Consolidated Fund.
Last week, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, told a meeting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC, that the government was now trying to rationalize the function of the TEF.
She expressed concern that under the new system the TEF could lose any money it doesn’t spend within the fiscal year.
Dr. McNeill says the PAAC — which he chairs — will, in the coming days, try to identify solutions to ensure the viability of the Fund.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, told our news centre yesterday, he’ll not be preempting the government’s plans for the function and role of TEF going forward.
However, he says several projects will continue to be implemented under the Fund.
The TEF seeks to promote growth and development in the tourism sector, enhance the country’s overall tourist experience, and provide for the sustainable development of the sector.
Its revenues are derived from the collection of fees from incoming airline and cruise passengers.