JIS News

Industry and Tourism Minister, Aloun Assamba is urging potential investors to take advantage of the huge benefits that can accrue from the transformation of Caymanas Park into a modern, first-class racing and entertainment complex.
“The potential for growth, additional linkages and diversification of the horseracing industry spell opportunity for all who can catch the vision of what is splendidly possible,” the Minister said.Mrs. Assamba was addressing the recent None Such ‘Horse-of-the-Year’ awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
She said the Government’s role and the vision of the Ministry were to ensure that the policies were in place so that the country could be efficient in facilitating those persons who invested in Jamaica to make a reasonable profit.
Expanding on Government’s role, the Minister referred to initiatives such as increasing purse-money by $100 million last year; exempting horserace bets from the Winnings Tax of 15 per cent; exempting duties on the importation of racehorses; and upgrading the systems and procedures of the Jamaica Racing Commission to facilitate improvements in the industry and professional development.
While recognizing that there was room for improvement, she expressed confidence in the potential of the industry to grow.
“You have already seen how hugely successful the sponsored race days have become, with popular competitions and infield entertainment. This is a good start, but only the beginning of how this 196-acre plant can integrate entertainment and sport,” she said.
Minister Assamba noted that the integration of entertainment and sport was essential to achieve the next level of promotion of Jamaica’s horseracing as an attraction for the tourist industry.
In congratulating Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) on being recently accepted as an allied member of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, she said that the promotion of the facility as a premier Kingston attraction would serve to strengthen the city’s claim to being the sports and entertainment capital of the Caribbean.
“It doesn’t take any great visionary to see that, with Highway 2000 connecting Caymanas Park to Montego Bay and Ocho Rios in half the time it now takes, we are poised for a take-off in the local horseracing industry that has not been experienced since Caymanas Park was established in 1959,” she said.
Mrs. Assamba said there was renewed hope in this labour intensive industry, which provided employment for more than 12,000 persons across the island. She added that CTL’s management in promoting the sport as well as how it conducted its operations, was directly related to the livelihood of these people. “With so many thousands of Jamaicans and allied sectors dependent on horseracing, we have a great responsibility to ensure that the industry not only maintains its viability, but fulfills its potential as a world-class attraction that can earn substantial millions in foreign exchange, employ thousands more and improve the quality of life of the surrounding communities,” the Tourism Minister said.
Caymanas Park has been advertised for privatization and interested persons can get the request for proposal from the National Investment Bank of Jamaica (NIBJ).

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