JIS News

A sum of $1 billion has been earmarked under the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), for the development of infrastructure in the tourism resort areas, particularly relating to housing and settlement.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, made the announcement at yesterday’s (July 1) post Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House, where he informed of a number of tourism development projects that are being undertaken through funding from the TEF, which has a balance of some $3 billion.
He said that TEF is collaborating with the Airports Authority of Jamaica in establishing “a new look aerodrome at Boscobel (St. Mary) and we are offering $100 million of support to the development of this very important jet port that will allow for private jets to come into that area to enhance the appeal of that side of the country as a top-end destination.”
In addition, some $100 million has been allocated for the upgrading of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kingston, including “adding new dimensions to make it the bush garden of the area,” he informed. He said that “the Chinese are working with us to ensure that that Botanical Garden is a signature attraction in the city of Kingston.”
Informing of other projects under the TEF, Minister Bartlett said that $100 million will be spent on the completion of phase two development of Devon House. He said this phase included “refurbishing of the house itself and also to deal with the commercial areas, the shops and shopping areas.”
“We did a tremendous job with the garden and the whole landscaping. Devon House looks really good at the moment but there is more work to be done,” he noted.
The Minister further told journalists that some $20 million was spent on the roofing of the historic Ward Theatre in Kingston “and we are going to spend another undetermined amount that is going to be decided over the next couple of weeks, to see its completion for 2012,” which is the 200th anniversary of the facility.
“It will be a great occasion for celebration and really bringing back to the cultural scene, a key part of the cultural heritage of this country… and it will have tremendous appeal for visitors, who are coming into the island,” he stated.
The mandate of the TEF, which falls under the Tourism Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development, involves promoting growth and development in the tourism sector, encouraging better management of environmental resources in the island, enhancing the overall tourist experience and providing for the sustainable development of the tourism sector.