Boost for tourism in St. Elizabeth


The St. Elizabeth Homecoming Foundation has received a $7 million grant from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) for the development of a website, which will showcase tourism offerings in the parish.
The signing for the funding took place on Thursday (October 28) at Riverside Dock in Black River where the Foundation’s 2010 Homecoming Celebration was also launched.
Chairman of the Foundation, Donna Parchment-Brown, expressed gratitude to JSIF. She said that the website will provide a virtual gateway to showcase the parish to the world, including its unique and unspoiled attractions, such as the seven-mile, white sand beach in Fort Charles.
This is the second such support to the Foundation from JSIF, with a previous grant awarded in 2002 for the St. Elizabeth participatory education planning research project, which has enhanced education planning in the parish.
Project Manager for JSIF, Stephanie Hutchinson-Ffrench, said car rental agencies, craft and food vendors, among other tourism providers, will benefit from the website project.
“We anticipate this project to be instrumental in assisting micro and small tourism stakeholders, and even agricultural producers, to market their product and services to a wider market and increase their earning potential. We should do our part by sharing the website information as soon as it is developed,” she stated.
St. Elizabeth Homecoming will be celebrated from November 6 to 26, with focus placed on rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the parish in the aftermath of the damage caused by heavy rains associated with Tropical Storm Nicole. “We have to get the people back to work, especially farmers,” said Mrs. Parchment-Brown.
She informed that several contact points have been set up for persons to report damage so that the Foundation can offer assistance.
Other activities include legal and education fora, tours to tourist attractions, thanksgiving service, health fair, and an awards banquet in Kingston.
“This year, we will be awarding nine outstanding St. Elizabethans with the St. Bess Golden Award for outstanding achievement and contribution to the parish and the world, in their chosen field. We will also recognise institutions in the parish that have made significant contributions to the parish and Jamaica,” the Foundation Chairman informed.
Turning to other projects being undertaken by the Foundation, Mrs. Parchment-Brown informed that the move to set up an offshore medical school at the Invercauld Great House in Black River is advanced, with all the legal requirements having been met.
The project, which involves local and international partnership, is estimated to generate between US$800,000 and US$1million during the first year. “I am sure the Black River Hospital will be the main beneficiary to this project,” Mrs. Parchment-Brown stated.

JIS Social