TPDCO to terminate illegal rafting on White River in St. Ann after multiple attempts to end the practice
The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCO) says it has moved to terminate illegal rafting on the White River in St. Ann, after multiple attempts to end the practice.
TPDCO in a statement this morning (March 30) says this comes after many consultations with offending parties and a myriad of complaints from visitors and stakeholders.
TPDCO says the complaints include sexual harassment, raftsmen operating in a drunken state, other criminal activities, and a prolonged breach of the River Rafting Act.
The Agency says utilizing a “clear, hold, and reset” strategy, it partnered with the Jamaica Constabulary Force to terminate the illegal activities.
The operation also included closure notice signs being posted, advising the general public that the section of the White River under the bridge is closed to unlicenced activities by order of the River Rafting Authority which regulates and controls river rafting in Jamaica.
TPDCO says this has been a longstanding issue and the action comes after several consultation meetings with operators undertaking illegal activities, where they were informed of the illegality of their operations and the intention of the authorities to have the activities terminated.
Other public bodies including the National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA) and the St Ann Municipal Corporation have also served warning and enforcement notices on the illegal operators from as early as October 2022.
TPDCO says a final warning was issued by the St Ann police who visited the site and requested that operators voluntarily remove their rafts by March 20, but to no avail.
Executive Director of the TPDCO, Wade Mars says the activities on the White River were not conducive to a proper tourism product.