Tourism Officials Criticize British Travel Advisory
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica (AP) – The British government’s travel advisory warning residents to avoid "certain routes’’ in Jamaica following riots in this resort town was premature, tour-ism officials said.
The British Foreign & Common-wealth Office issued the advisory several days after police killed two elderly men in Montego Bay late last month, prompting residents to block an airport road with burning buses and throw rocks at officers. No injuries were re-ported.
"Visitors should be aware that there are high levels of crime and violence, particularly in the Kingston area and tourists should avoid certain routes,’’ the Oct. 28 advisory said, according to the department’s Web site. "(But) the vast majority of visits to Jamaica are trouble-free.’’
It went on to mention the disturbance in Montego Bay’s Flankers com-munity, saying "the demonstrations resulted in some inconvenience for tourists who had to travel by alternative routes between hotels/resorts and the airport.’’
Jamaican tourism officials criticized the advisory as unnecessary.
"I think the travel advisory is premature and I do not think it was necessary for the British government to have added Flankers to their advisory,’’ said Godfrey Dyer, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Asso-ciation.