JIS News

The Milk River Hotel Bath and Spa in Clarendon and the Bath Hotel and Spa in St. Thomas have received a combined grant of $250 million to carry out extensive refurbishing and upgrading work at both locations.
This was announced by Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett as he addressed members of the Board of the Bath Hotel and Spa and other tourism stakeholders in St. Thomas, following a tour of the world famous hotel and spa facilities recently.
One hundred million dollars will go to the Bath Hotel and Spa while $150 million will be allocated to the Milk River Hotel Bath and Spa upgrading project.
Mr. Bartlett said it is the intention of the government, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund from which the money was generated, to refurbish and upgrade both facilities and to re-brand the Bath Hotel and Spa to its premier status in order to attract high-end tourism as in previous years.
“Health Tourism, which this facility will enhance, is the direction the industry is going in. The wealthy and the ultra-rich are embracing lifestyle tourism, so the development of the Bath Hotel and Spa is to enhance our appeal in the top-end market,” he told JIS News.
The Tourism Minister also pointed out that the rehabilitation of the Bath Hotel and Spa is a strategic plan for the facility to play a key role in the development of Tourism in the parish of St. Thomas. He pointed to Holland Bay, Prospect, Old Pera, Bowden, Lyssons, the various falls in Rozelle up to Seaforth and a range of caves, all capped by the Blue and John Crow Mountains, as serious tourism opportunities.
Mr. Bartlett said however that there are some conditions that come with the development grant.
“When you make this type of money available you are operating on a strict business line. They have to give me a business plan to show me the return to be made on this investment and I have given six weeks to develop a business plan to show how arrivals will be increased, the income to be generated, and the plan for the physical re-development,” he explained.
He stressed that aside from restoring the gardens and the hotel plant, the funds would assist with ensuring that the wider community buys into the re-development process.
Meanwhile, General Manager for Bath Hotel and Spa, Desmond Blair said, “We are going to be concentrating on our rooms, bringing all of them to a good standard.and expand what can be made available to the visitors, steam room, massages and so on, meeting facilities to attract retreats, improved security and parking and the training of staff and people from the surrounding community”.
Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Godfrey Dyer encouraged the upgrading of all rooms of the property to suites, with their own bathroom and balcony, and to make the spas all of premium quality.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Dr. Omer Thomas said he would encourage the planting of fruit and spice tree crops in the area to boost the versatility of the tree crops in the parish, beginning with the planting of nutmeg.

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