Ocho Rios, St. Ann — Senior vice-president of the SuperClubs chain and 1994 Young Hotelier of the World, Joe Issa, is the new president of the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce.
He was elected unopposed at their annual general meeting at the Shaw Park Beach Hotel on Saturday.
Mr. Issa promised to continue on what he called, “the road that was paved” by outgoing president Jeanne Dixon.
“I have learned a lot under the tutelage of Mrs. Dixon,” said Mr. Issa.
The new Chamber president is bent on establishing a free zone in
Ocho Rios in addition to expanding and upgrading the Boscobel aerodrome.
He also wants the Chamber to formalise and pursue a safe Fern Gully programme, restricting vehicular traffic and preserving the attraction.
Also, Mr. Issa will be making a pitch for Reggae SunSplash to be permanently held in St. Ann, the birthplace of Bob Marley. This, according to him, will be a most fitting tribute to the late superstar and should go a long way in restoring the festival to “its lofty heights”.
While stressing unity and co-operation Mr. Issa vowed to take on the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) to ensure wider representation of the entire country.
“The present JCC body should be called the Kingston and St. Andrew Chamber of Commerce,” Mr. Issa suggested. “We will be lobbying them for more representation because as a national body, it should be comprised of members from a cross-section of the island.”
Mrs. Dixon, in her farewell speech at the end of three years, said she was proud of the accomplishments during her tenure. She then lashed out at the Government for what she saw as its failure to prevent crime and tourist harassment, calling it the worst in the Caribbean.
“None of us are safe in this island today,” Mrs. Dixon lamented. “Crime is prevalent, the worst it has ever been in the history of this country. How can we be inviting people to this country when we cannot make it safe for them? Look at the Internet and you will see all kinds of unflattering remarks about Jamaica by the American Travel Guide.”
Source: The Gleaner