Adrian Loveridge Column – Rediscover re-DISCOVER

Interesting to see that Jamaica recently launched another major tourism initiative branded ‘Rediscover Jamaica’.

They clearly feel, as another largely tourism dependent nation, that there still remains a significantly large enough employed or financially independent section of the population to validate such a programme.

Speaking at the official launch, Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett urged persons to take full advantage of the deals that are being provided under the campaign.

Adding, ‘This is not a knee-jerk reaction because of COVID, because we started staycation years ago. We might not have moved it with the energy that we should, but this is a moment when the psychosocial impact of COVID is taking its toll, so we need a release and the wonderful products are all there, the glories of our culture awaiting us. Let’s go out, rediscover Jamaica, enjoy the summer and be safe’ he said.

Director of Tourism, Donovan White, noted ‘that more than 100 tourism partners are offering discounts and products to Jamaicans, so they can enjoy the tourism product’.

Whatever, their justification, it makes sense by involving as many ‘locals’ as possible who will derive an overall better understanding of the industry, post Covid-19.

It must be apparently obvious by now, that our policymakers and planners have little or no control over the seemingly endless movement of the travel goal posts in our major markets.

The latest restrictive ‘adjustments’ implemented in the United Kingdom last week, expected to last for as long as six months, highlighted that fact and ‘we’ can only hope to modify our response to events plainly beyond our direct control.

While Barbados currently does not have a comparable national offering, the re-DISCOVER restaurant initiative, founded back in 2002 is again gathering momentum with new dining establishments joining or re-joining weekly.

It is also encouraging that a number of our hotels are promoting Barbadian special stays at attractive prices and that certain attractions and activities are once again beginning to address the local market that clearly are not at the mercy of the airlines to reach us.

Andromeda Botanical Gardens for instance have opened their doors to locals, completely free of charge, initially for a limited period.

I also hope that our taxi drivers will take full advantage of this generous offer to enhance their island tours when visitor arrival numbers eventually return.

This approach will take us a step closer to ensure that every resident becomes an ambassador for tourism, which until someone finds a comparable alternative, still largely pays the nation’s bills.

6 comments

  • Maybe emphasizing in ads and promotions that in our tropical latitudes northerners can restore depleted Vitamin D levels the natural way could be a marketing tool.

    Research shows vitamin D essential for T Cells to destroy pathogens (like Sars-Cov-2):

    T-cells Are the Superstars in Fighting COVID-19 — But Why are some People So Poor at Making Them?
    Thank you to Eshani M King for allowing Children’s Health Defense to run her letter in response to Dr. Peter Doshi’s article — Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity? — that was featured in The BMJ last week.

    Excerpt:
    Research establishments including Yale found that in mild or asymptomatic cases, many T-cells are produced. These were highly varied, responding not just to parts of the Spike, S protein or Receptor Binding Domain but to many other parts of the virus. Notably, in these mild cases there were few or no detectable antibodies. Conversely, the severely ill produced few T-cells with less variety but had plenty of antibodies. What is also of interest is that men produced fewer T-cells than women, and unlike women, their T-cell response reduced with age.

    So why are some people unable to mount a good protective T-cell response? The key to this question might be a 10-year-old Danish study led by Carsten Geisler, head of the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen. Geisler noted that “When a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signalling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D,” and if there is an inadequate vitamin D level, “they won’t even begin to mobilize.” In other words, adequate vitamin D is critically important for the activation of T-cells from their inactive naïve state. The question of whether T-cells might also need a continuing supply of vitamin D to prevent the T-cell exhaustion and apoptosis observed in some serious COVID-19 cases deserves further research.

    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/t-cells-are-the-superstars-in-fighting-covid-19-but-why-are-some-people-so-poor-at-making-them/?itm_term=home

    Vitamin D Cuts SARS-CoV-2 Infection Rate by Half

    STORY AT-A-GLANCE:
    Based on data from 191,779 American patients, people with a vitamin D level of at least 55 ng/mL (138 nmol/L) had a 47% lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate compared to those with a level below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L)

    Based on data from 7,807 Israelis, those with a vitamin D level above 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) had a 58% to 59% lower risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those with a vitamin D level below 29 ng/mL (74 nmol/L)

    Having a vitamin D level below 30 ng/mL also approximately doubles your risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19, Israeli researchers found

    Spanish researchers found giving hospitalized COVID-19 patients supplemental calcifediol (a vitamin D3 analog) in addition to standard of care lowered ICU admissions from 50% to 2% and eliminated deaths

    An August 2020 study found patients who had a vitamin D level below 12 ng/mL (30 nmol/L) had a 6.12 times higher risk of severe disease requiring invasive mechanical ventilation, and a 14.7 times higher risk of death compared to those with a vitamin D level above 12 ng/mL

    articles.mercola(DOT)com/sites/articles/archive/2020/09/28/coronavirus-infection-rate-vitamin-d.aspx?cid_source=dnl&cid_medium=email&cid_content=art1ReadMore&cid=20200928Z1&mid=DM667069&rid=974872075

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  • The UK is now considered a high risk covid country for arrival in Barbados effective October 1 The new travel protocols make it mandatory to quarantine for a set number of days at various hotels and as well, take a second test. It is also mandatory to have a negative test within 72 hours of ones departure to gain entry to Barbados. These are all good steps, especially the mandatory negative test to enter the country. The question of what happens to quarantine or stay vacation guests if a second test should reveal a positive test among one of the quarantined guests, is not clear.

    There is risk in everything but certainly Barbados is doing a great job at keeping the country safe.

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  • Isn’t obvious what will happen if there is a second positive test?

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  • Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins says tourists and returning nationals can feel comfortable and safe because Barbadians are aptly following the Covid-19 health protocols. Cummins was speaking at The Crane Resort in St Philip during a tour

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  • Off to good start

    Persaud: 50 more hotels to open through BEST

    By Colville Mounsey Two days into the official start of the Barbados Employment and Sustainability Transformation Programme (BEST), its architect, Special Envoy to the Prime Minister Avinash Persaud says it is picking up with more hotels expected to open.
    In an interview with the Weekend Nation, Persaud said based on the interest generated since its start, he expected another 50 hotels to reopen, adding to the 25 that had already restarted operations.
    At the same time, he warned hoteliers that should they opt not to avail themselves of Government’s assistance, not only would they be left on their own to meet severance obligations to their workers, but must do so without the assistance of the National Insurance Scheme.
    “The programme only started on Tuesday and today is Thursday and already we have had a lot of interest. I have spent much of today speaking to people, determining their eligibility. We have already had a number of applications. People will need some time to think things through, determining how many people they are going to be able to re-engage, or what kind of re-investment in their property that they are going to conduct. Those things can’t be done overnight. So I think in the next couple of weeks we are going to see significantly more applications, but we have already had quite a few,” he said.
    Very clear
    “We have had to be very clear that we want people to be re-engaged, we don’t want to make it easy for employers not to re-engage people. So if an employer is re-engaging their employees, we will pay the wages and we will also invest in your company to upgrade your plant. “If you decide not to do that, we are not giving you any help with severance, that is for your account. The NIS isn’t paying it for you and you must pay what you owe.” Additionally, Persaud said the BEST programme was having a ripple effect on unemployment, as more businesses outside of tourism were re-employing individuals, as they were seeing signs of a restart of the sector.
    “The other thing I would say is that the BEST programme is having an impact beyond actual applications because I believe people in other businesses were looking for some trigger to re-employ their staff. Confidence was low and I think the programme has helped to change that. We are actually seeing a fair number of people re-employing their staff outside of the tourism sector. They are now feeling that tourism is going to start coming back and we are seeing that in some of the NIS data as more and more people are returning to work over the past couple of weeks. I think that this is as a result of the announcement of the BEST programme,” he said.
    He also said given the fact that the programme was able to get underway within the time period of the extended unemployment benefits, there was no need for Government to enact legislation to facilitate the transition.
    However, he noted that further legislation might be needed to protect workers who may be again severed midway through the programme.
    “We may need to put in legislation to make it absolutely clear that no one is going to be worse off. Some persons are concerned that they may lose their severance if they are employed today and severed again three months down the road. We have made it explicitly clear under the BEST programme that this is not going to happen and that their right to severance remains. If we need to make that clear through legislation, then we are prepared to do so,” Persaud said.
    The BEST programme will see the re-engagement of employees at 80 per cent of their December 2019 earnings up to the NIS earning limit for 24 months.
    It would also see the investments in the transformation of the tourism plant. These include digitisation, renewable energy, water-saving systems and the integration of product offerings with manufacturing, agriculture and the cultural industry.

    Source: Nation

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