The entire Jamaica Tourist Board resigned on Nov. 17, claiming they were disbanding so that Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett could appoint a new team to face the global financial crisis.

The resignations followed Bartlett's address at the World Travel Market in London, in which he lowered his tourism forecast for the winter season in light of the global recession.

Bartlett accepted the resignations.

"A changing landscape demands a new architecture," Bartlett said. "We need to rebuild and redesign our structure to allow us to not only survive in these times of economic uncertainly but also to prosper and grow."

Resigning board members were Chairman John Lynch, who recently left his post as executive vice president of sales at Unique Vacations, the worldwide representative for Sandals; Wayne Cummings, president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA); Basil Smith, former director of tourism; Godfrey Dyer, tourism consultant and former president of the JHTA; Carolyn Hayle, head of hospitality and tourism at the University of the West Indies; Paul Pennicook, formerly with Air Jamaica and now with SuperClubs; Josef Forstmayr, hotelier and former JHTA president; Lionel Ried, former JHTA head; Zein Issa-Nakash, SuperClubs; Ralph Smith, hotelier; and Bert Wright, businessman.

Bartlett indicated a new board will be in place a week before the winter tourism season starts on Dec. 15.

The position of tourism director has been vacant since Basil Smith's resignation took effect last month. There is speculation that Bartlett wants to appoint John Lynch to that post.


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