The Ministry of Tourism has begun public consultations ahead of presenting its Destination Assurance Framework and Strategy to Parliament for approval as a White Paper.

The first set of consultations happened in Negril last Thursday.

Zasha-Kae Dennis reports.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the approval of the White Paper will make Jamaica the first country in the world to have a Destination Assurance Policy.

He says he sees Destination Assurance as a promise to visitors that assures an authentic, safe and seamless vacation experience, which is respectful to the community and environment.

He says a key pillar of that policy is public order.

He says public order is critical because tourism cannot function in chaos and disorder and everyone has a role to play.

The Tourism Minister says the country has to get to the point where it recognizes the importance of public order, not just as a security requirement, but as a means of enabling a stable and cohesive society.

The Tourism Ministry says the Destination Assurance Policy will be placing special focus on reducing instances of visitor harassment and poor solid waste management practices.

The Ministry will launch a programme in each resort area aimed at the re-socialization and upskilling of informal operators in the tourism sector.

The Ministry says the strategic push will be supported by a strong legislative agenda, including amending the Tourist Board Act, the Travel Agency Act and their accompanying regulations.