Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says a comprehensive development and upgrading of Montego Bay’s infrastructure must take place in order for the city to take advantage of the tourism opportunities that will come on stream over the next 50 years.
Addressing the official opening of the Royal DeCameron Cornwall Beach resort in Montego Bay, St. James on Saturday (Feb. 18), the Prime Minister said while the tourism product continues to grow at a rapid rate, the almost 50-year old supporting infrastructure is under pressure.
“The product is growing. It is expanding. The challenge with that is that the supporting infrastructure, much of which was laid 50 years ago…cannot sustain the next growth spurt of 50 years to come. There will have to be fundamental re-organisation, redevelopment and new infrastructure put in place,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that major attention must be paid to the development and improvement of the popular Hip Strip on Gloucester Avenue.
“Our Hip Strip could be like similar locations in Miami or Coco Cabana in Brazil and we have the potential to be better than all of them,” he noted.
The Prime Minister said all hands are required on deck in order to plan and implement Jamaica’s tourism infrastructural development with the next five decades in mind.
“It will require the stakeholders including the Minister (of Tourism), the Members of Parliament, Local Government, the developers, the owners… to come together as Team Jamaica to build a tourism product that will last for the next 50 years and place Jamaica as the lead island for tourism in the Caribbean region,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the Government has been examining the various opportunities tourism presents for linkages with other sectors in an effort to boost growth.