Jamaican Tourism Suffers Amid Violence in Capital

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With news reports from Jamaica showing widespread violence in the country’s capital city, the Caribbean nation’s event and tourism industries are beginning to feel the strain, according to a report from the McClatchy Newspapers.

Last month, a police search for alleged drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke” created a rift between the public and law officials.

Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association President Wayne Cummings said the industry is being affected in ways comparable to the visitor drop resulting from a hurricane. According to Cummings, the negative reports could create long-term problems for the industry.

"This has the potential to hurt us far more than any natural disaster," he told McClatchy Newspapers. The Jamaican Chamber of Commerce estimated the economic impact to be a $100 million loss. Tourism is key to Jamaica’s economy and the No. 1 earner of foreign currency. According to jis.gov, Jamaica’s online information service, tourism accounts for 20 percent of the gross domestic product.