Investment in Jamaica’s Tourism Sector Expected to Drive Continued Growth

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has given the assurance that the current inflow of investment in tourism will fuel continued growth in the all-important sector.

Speaking as he opened the 2017 Sectoral Debate in Parliament recently Minister Bartlett said investment in the sector currently exceeds US$1 billion, covering thousands of hotel rooms. He emphasised that for 2017 alone in excess of 1,000 new rooms will be coming on stream.

Construction of new hotels or renovation of existing properties will also be taking place over the next year or so in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Llandovery in St. Ann, Silver Sands in Trelawny, Port Antonio and Negril.

He indicated that for its part the Ministry will also continue to invest in key projects as part of a concerted effort to renew and enhance the visitor experience in resort towns such as Ocho Rios.

He outlined that some $286 million will be spent to improve Ocho Rios. “Of that amount, $102 million has been earmarked for the redevelopment of the boardwalk/promenade from the Marina to the parking lot at Ocho Rios Bay Beach and $184.7 million for the redevelopment of Main Street from Turtle River Road to the Ocean Village Shopping Centre,” the Minister said.

Jamaica Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett Investment in Jamaica’s Tourism Sector Expected to Drive Continued Growth
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (file photo)

Minister Bartlett underscored that a billion dollar transformational project continues in earnest in Falmouth, including the Hampden Wharf Development and a Streetscape Improvement Project, which will enable residents of the town to benefit directly from tourism.

Regarding public access to beaches, Mr. Bartlett said 12 beach parks were under development around the island under the National Beach Development Programme to provide the public access to quality seaside recreational areas.

Concurrently, the Ministry of Tourism will be developing Destination Assurance Councils to replace the current Resort Boards and appointing Destination Managers to ensure that the quality, standards and integrity of the tourism product are maintained.

The Destination Manager in each resort town will work with the Destination Assurance Council and report to the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo). “They will be responsible for delivering on our commitment to destination assurance – which is to ensure that we provide the attractive and secure tourism product which we market to visitors,” he said.

The Destination Assurance Council in each resort town will consist of key individuals such as the Mayor and representatives of the health department; the National Water Commission; the Fire Brigade; National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and all agencies needed to secure the integrity of the destination.

At the same time, $1 billion from the Tourism Enhancement Fund will be pumped into key destination assurance efforts over the next four years to strengthen partnerships between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), TEF and TPDCo to help boost safety and security for visitors and locals alike. This is in addition to over $1 billion already disbursed to support the security forces.

South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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