JIS News

Tourism Minister, Ed Bartlett, has announced the restoration and development of three of Kingston’s signature attractions in a bid to enhance the capital city’s position as a premier resort destination. These attractions are Devon House, the Ward Theatre, and Hope Botanical Gardens.
“We are going to be spending quite a tidy sum, not only on the restoration of Devon House to its former glory, but to add critical values to make the attraction the Williamsburg of Kingston and Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett at the press launch of Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) 2008 on (Dec.11) at the Hilton Kingston hotel.
In terms of the Ward Theatre, Mr. Bartlett said that the “Ministry is committed to working to restore the Ward to its pristine glory”, citing the importance of the facility as the “birthplace of the modern dramatic artistic explosion that has taken place in Jamaica”. Regarding the Hope Botanical Gardens, Minister Bartlett said the requisite “technical support” will be sourced locally and overseas if necessary, to give the attraction the “character and critical value” needed to make it the centerpiece of Kingston and Jamaica’s flora and fauna exposition.
“We have to make Kingston our critical area of attraction to, indeed, enhance the diversified range of destinations that we have in Jamaica,” Minister Bartlett underscored, adding: “it is important for us that it presents itself, not only as the commercial and political capital of the country, but a location of great enrichment for our visitors and an experience which people (will) travel to have.”
Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the requisite technical data for the projects was currently being developed and while no timeline or funding has been determined, these should be known before the Budget Debate in April 2008.

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