Multi-million dollar upgrade for Jamaica resort town
KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 17, 2009 – Some J$500 million (US$5.6 million) has been earmarked for a comprehensive upgrading programme for the resort town of Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the plan is for the design and creation of entrances and streetscapes, accommodating facilities and amenities for both residents and visitors.
"This plan will be the basis on which we will be implementing a number of projects to significantly improve the appeal of the Ocho Rios area,” he said.
Funds for the project are coming from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
Bartlett said the plan has been finalised and will be presented to him for discussion at the level of the Economic Development Council of Cabinet. Once approval is given, the process of improving and enhancing the destination will begin.
Already J$6.8 million (US$76,836) has been spent on the Rio Nuevo battle site, in collaboration with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, to put up a visitor arrival centre and install story boards and displays for a museum that will be officially opened tomorrow.
In addition, the Urban Development Corporation and the Tourism Product Development Company will collaborate on the establishment of an Artisan Village in Ocho Rios, at a cost of J$200 million (US$2.26 million).
Bartlett added that about J$107 million (US$1.2 million) will be spent, in collaboration with the Airports Authority, to create the country's first Jet Port.
"Not only are we talking about enhancing the aesthetics of the town, (we are) creating opportunities for employment and for craft, for our ground transportation and for our total tourism partners to be involved in ensuring that this town is developed," Bartlett said. (JIS)