Negril party promoters and hoteliers noise pollution war could end soon with passage of Amendments to Noise Abatement Act

Negril party promoters and hoteliers noise pollution war could end soon with passage of Amendments to Noise Abatement Act

Caption: Beres Hammond and Beenieman perform onstage at the Appleton Signature Nights at Woodstock in Negril on Valentine’s night in February 2017.

As the long-standing conflict between some hoteliers and party promoters over noise pollution in resort towns such as Negril continues unabated, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) president, Omar Robinson, says the Jamaican Parliament must ensure that the proposed draft amendments to the Noise Abatement Act are satisfactory to both groups.

According to Robinson, who was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the JHTA on Saturday (June 29) both “must be able to co-exist, and not one at the expense of the other”.  He said noise-pollution continues to impact members in the hotel sector negatively, and that presently hotels and the local citizenry suffer from “all manner of noisy events, going into the wee hours of the morning, some of which are without permits”.

“Visitors have complained bitterly about the inability to sleep caused by the loud music. Members have complained that they have lost revenues and had to compensate guests for their sleepless night. Negril is feeling the worst effects, however, all resort areas are impacted at one point or another,” Robinson said.

 

“Let it be clear that that JHTA supports the entertainment sector as it is an important component of our tourism product. We want Jamaica to be known as the events capital of the Caribbean. In that regard, we would like to congratulate all the party and events promoters who continue to do so in an organized way without causing any disturbances to our citizens and visitors. We are great supporters of events as they fill our rooms at various times of the year with both overseas and local visitors,” Robinson stated.

Negril has been a hotbed for several years now due to the barrage of complaints from several hoteliers on the West End, to the police, about disturbances caused by loud music.

Last December former president of the Negril Entertainment Association, Ryan Morrison, told the media that party promoters were pessimistic about the likelihood that they would earn any substantial income during the last winter season.  He said one relentless hotelier called the police 49 times for them to shut down the Different Strokes party, which is one of the biggest annual events, staged by a local promoter in the town.

In the meantime, Robinson said while the present Noise Abatement Act is hardly ever properly enforced, it gives the police the ability to intervene should they be summoned.   He also recommended that the designated entertainment zones which were created some years ago, be used for party purposes.

“The JHTA strongly disagrees and cannot support proposed amendments to any legislation that disadvantages the tranquility of our citizens and visitors alike. Participation in entertainment activities should be a choice for patrons and not be something that is forced upon everyone,” he noted.

“We have been advised that the draft amendment was prepared and consultations will take place with the respective stakeholders and citizenry. So we eagerly wait to engage all parties so that there can be a mutually beneficial outcome,” he said.

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