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Published on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jamaica cracks down on tourist harassment

Jamaica has launched a new initiative to prevent tourists being hassled.

The government will spend almost $900,000 from the Tourism Enhancement Fund to increase police presence and educate street vendors against over the top sales tactics and general harassment.

"We are going to continue to aggressively fight to rid Jamaica of the problem of visitor harassment," tourism minister Wykeham McNeill said.

"Only then will we begin to see a wider cross-section of Jamaica's communities, businesses and individuals benefiting from the tourism sector."

According to government data, about a third of visitors complained of constant pestering during 2013.

The perception of harassment keeps cruise passengers on ships during port calls and some guests are wary of venturing outside their resort, the minister said.

"This significantly affects small operators, such as craft vendors and other small businesses, as this severely limits their contact with potential customers," he said

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