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Kingston welcomed just over 2,400 visitors last Friday ahead of Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom concert, the tourism ministry reported yesterday.

The concert, the ministry said in a news release, contributed to a significant increase in visitors to the island this month, influenced by the staging of a number of other “mega festivals”.

According to the ministry, preliminary figures indicate that 2,434 foreign nationals arrived at Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport last Friday. “This represents a 143 per cent increase over the same day last year,” the tourism ministry said, adding that data from the Jamaica Tourist Board also show that 7,389 foreign nationals arrived in Montego Bay on Friday, a 58 per cent increase over the same day last year.

“The arrivals over the weekend have been very strong, and as an industry we are ecstatic,” the release quotes Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett. “Our focus on our core tourist arrivals remains on strong footing from our key source markets.”

Banton’s concert at the National Stadium Saturday night drew more than 30,000 people, many of whom flew in from North America, Europe, and as far away as Australia.

Yesterday, additional data provided by Delano Seiveright, communications strategist and advisor in the Ministry of Tourism, show that total visitor arrivals for the period March 1-17 amounted to 148,052, a 24.8 per cent increase over the 118,597 recorded for the same period last year.

Breaking down the numbers, Seiveright said that for the period March 1-17 this year Montego Bay welcomed 125,069 visitors, an increase of 22.7 per cent compared to 101,967 for the same period last year, while the numbers for Kingston were 22,983, up 38.2 per cent over the same period last year.

“This is 29,455 more arrivals compared to the same period in 2018,” Seiveright pointed out.

Bartlett noted that in addition to the Buju Banton concert, the island benefited tremendously from the staging of mega culinary and entertainment events this month, among them the second annual Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, and the inaugural Jamaica Rum Festival.

“I am very happy to announce that tourism arrivals have been impacted positively in March from these mega festivals. They provided an opportunity for us to broaden the market by bringing more people to the destination to meet a variety of passion points which embody the very best of our food, culture and music,” he said.

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Take a child home this Christmas

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Take a child home this Christmas

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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THE Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is now accepting applications from Jamaicans for its ‘Take a Child Home for the Holiday’ initiative.

The annual programme provides an opportunity for families to open their homes to wards of the State during the festive season. It caters to children three to 18 years old who do not have parents or guardians to take them home during the holiday period.

Speaking with JIS News, public relations and communications manager at the CPFSA, Rochelle Dixon, said the agency recognises that children placed in a family environment produce better outcomes.

Initially, the ‘Take a Child Home for the Holiday’ programme was created for parents who have children in State care to take them home for the festive season.

However, over time, the programme was extended to individuals with good moral standing.

For the 2018 festive season, parents/guardians or other family members taking children home for the holidays totalled 182, while 154 applications from members of the public were approved.

Some 355 children were placed and from this amount 19 were foster- care prospects.

Dixon explained that people who qualify for the programme have the option of hosting a child for a day or during a holiday period.

Individuaols who are interested in participating in the programme are required to fill out an application form.

They are also required to provide two references from a police officer, a justice of the peace or a school principal; provide two passport-sized photographs, a valid identification card and must be 25 years or older.

The approval is granted based on the applicant’s ability to fulfil the criteria outlined, and in some cases approval is at the discretion of the children’s officer. The application may take up to 20 days to be processed.

For further information, interested individuals may visit any of the CPFSA regional offices, formerly the Child Development Agency (CDA), across the island.

The deadline for submission of application is Friday, November 29.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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Entries invited for child protection mascot competition

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Entries invited for child protection mascot competition

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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THE Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) is inviting entries for its child protection mascot design and name competition.

The competition, titled ‘ProtekWiPickneyDem’, is being rolled out at primary-level institutions islandwide and is targeted at children between ages seven and 12.

Public relations and communications manager at the CPFSA, Rochelle Dixon told JIS News that the aim of the competition is to galvanise children to design a child-friendly character that they can relate to, while learning about child abuse and protection.

The mascot will make special appearances at schools on a quarterly basis and will be used, along with a jingle created in 2018, as part of the child-protection programme.

Dixon said participants will have a chance to win attractive prizes, including a tablet, book vouchers and gift baskets, along with accolades of having designed the CPFSA’s mascot.

The school that the winner attends will receive a smart television.

Children wishing to participate can download the competition rules and guidelines from the CPFSA’s website at http://childprotection.gov.jm/ mascotdesign.

Entries should be e-mailed to prunit@ childprotection.gov.jm or dropped off at any of the CPFSA parish offices no later than Friday, November 29.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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MPs’ call for more pay gets public sympathy

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MPs’ call for more pay gets public sympathy

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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A number of Jamaicans surveyed in the capital city yesterday have given conditional agreement to the call by some Members of Parliament (MPs) that they deserve more pay.

The Jamaica Observer sought the opinion of the public following this week’s Sunday Observer lead story in which several MPs lamented that their monthly salary of approximately $300,000 cannot suffice, as they have to use the money to support their families and help their constituents.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive

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