Officials depart JTB after allegations, audit


KINGSTON, Jamaica -- In the wake of anonymous allegations of impropriety and an internal audit investigating them, the Jamaica Tourist Board accepted the resignations of Noel Mignott, deputy director of tourism for the Americas, and Yvonne Sawyers, accountant/administrator. Also leaving is Marie Deeble Walker, advertising relations manager.

The departures came on the occasion of an emergency board meeting called Sept. 8, to consider the allegations against the three officers in New York and the preliminary results of the investigation being conducted.

"The Jamaica Tourist Board wishes to reiterate its commitment to a policy of transparency in the conduct of its operations," the statement read, "and to ensuring the greatest professionalism and effectiveness in its management systems and procedures, particularly in the face of severe global challenges for tourism and the imperative to accelerate the recovery process in the local industry."

As reported, the JTB will launch a $2.6 million cable TV and consumer print ad campaign Sept. 23.

Earlier this year, before it could run its new "One Love" commercials for a spring campaign of roughly the same size, the JTB had to negotiate a payment schedule with its agency, New York-based Foote Cone and Belding, to resolve an outstanding debt that led to a suspension of the island's U.S. advertising presence.

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