Jamaica Opens a new $20M Visitors’ Centre and Café in Holywell

KINGSTON, Jamaica –  Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says the newly opened Holywell Visitors’ Centre and Café, is a fraction of the extensive support his Ministry plans to provide to enhance the facilities in the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

He noted that the new facility forms part of the wider Blue Mountain Sustainable Tourism (BMST) Programme initiative which has received $46.8 million from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) in total and $20 million to construct the Visitors Centre and Café.

“For this experience in Holywell, we felt that we should embellish, strengthen and give direction. That is the reason TEF has put in a significant level of contribution towards building out this facility, so that it not only provides the repository of critical information about this wonderful piece of God’s creation but it also allows for an opportunity for relaxation,” said the Minister.

He further gave assurance to the park operators, the Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust (JCDT) that “The Ministry of Tourism is going to do more because we intend to give you the full effect of what your experience requires.”

The new facility, which has been designed by the firm, Kingston 10; led by celebrated architect Anne Hodges, will feature a museum, gift shop and café which will be operated by a private sector entity.

It forms part of the Sustainable Tourism Plan for the national park and efforts to raise funds to bolster the park management programme.

Executive Director of the JCDT, Dr. Susan Otuokon also explained that, “all of this is about educating the public so that they can appreciate what we have here in the Blue and John Crow Mountains in Jamaica and also to entertain and peak the interests of all the visitors. It also helps us to generate income for running the national park.”

As part of the Blue Mountain Sustainable Tourism (BMST) Programme, the final product will also include other projects such as interpretive signage, landscaping,rehabilitation of checkpoint post.

The BMST programme will also include the creation of gazeboes at Portland Gap, repair to the shelter at Blue Mountain Peak and general signage along trails to the Blue Mountain.

The overall project should be completed in June of this year.

Jamaica Opens a new $20M Visitors’ Centre and Café in Holywell
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (4th left) cuts the ribbon to officially open the Holywell Visitors’ Centre and Cafe on March 25, 2018. Sharing in the moment are (from left) Deputy Chairman of the Jamaica Development Trust (JCDT), Adam Hyde; Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for the Land, Environment, Climate Change and Investment portfolios in the Ministry of Economic Growth, Hon. Daryl Vaz; Director of Culture, in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Dr Janice Lindsay; Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams; Executive Director in the JCDT, Dr. Susan Otuokon; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith; and Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Dr Carey Wallace.

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