‘Sex tourism’ high risk to global health: Jamaica Tourism official

Published on : Sunday, December 1, 2013

Jamaica-TourismAddressing the 40th Annual Dr. Ena Thomas Memorial Symposium at the Jamaica Pegasus, Hall said that sex tourism was a worldwide trend that some destinations were capitalising on.

Sex tourism is a critical health concern worldwide given the rise of HIV in the past two decades, and efforts should be made to monitor actions to minimize the negative effects on health.

Jason Hall, deputy director of tourism for cruise, events and attractions at the Jamaica Tourist Board, said that more research is needed to determine what impact sex tourism has on the tourism industry in the Caribbean. However, it is well known that “many people who visit the Caribbean are in search of that passion or the romance which has become synonymous with the various islands.”

Inviting the physicians at the symposium to “deliberate on the issues of “sex tourism or romance tourism”, Hall said that tourism still presents the best hope for a better future for Jamaica but called for “a coordinated and sustained public education programme among tourism, health and education sectors to benefit both residents and visitors.”

In the meantime, speaking in another session of the symposium, Minister of Health Dr. Fenton Ferguson said that Jamaica has come a long way in the area of sexual health issues. “Our objective this year is to begin the process of achieving zero new infections and zero discrimination.”

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