Views from Above by Warren Johnson: Shattered Eggs

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Jamaica News: Recent events unfolded at one of our grand tourist resorts, The RIU Hotel, where an Entertainment Coordinator apparently armed with a gun, held up and raped two female guests after gaining access to their room by way of a balcony.

This is so frightening that it may involve even the President of the US, because this is high-level stuff. The Tourism Minister, the Minister of National Security, the Commissioner of Police and the PM didn’t sleep well, and won’t until the apparent damage has been controlled.

Firstly, there is the fear of fallout from visitor arrivals and the much-promoted image that Jamaicans don’t hurt visitors, which to a large extent is true. However, it is some boast that I have always found cringe-worthy, because nowhere on earth besides Jamaica would find that a tenable argument.

Tourists are eggs to the Tourism Industry and a lot of Jamaicans who simply have the wrong ideas about the intelligence and durability of visitors to our shores, especially the white ones, whom they mostly fawn over. These are durable, intelligent people, who run the world despite the denials and protestations.  They hardly need someone to hold their hands to cross a road 16′ wide. The Industry is also fragile, and the players are fearful of even the slightest shift of any ill-wind blowing in our climes that affect our citizens and residents on a daily basis. The fear is always there: THEY MAY STOP COMING….

Even as it cannot be taken for granted that the Tourist train will and must always be on our Tracks, it will take a hell of a lot more than this to derail the train. However, it is full time that government and industry players come to realize that nice hotels of magnificent construction with well-manicured lawns look better in surroundings that match or come close to those looks of cleanliness and beauty of surroundings.

It is full time that government come to the realization that its deliberate or accidental under-development of the masses is untenable, because the monsters they create through action or inaction will not be confined to any one area, affecting only the very masses they seem to care little about. Like it or not, it is some of these monsters that are created through government neglect that will be employed in the same fragile Tourism Industry they are trying so hard to protect.

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