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Cabinet has approved a sum of US$2,554,443 from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), to finance the development of a Comprehensive Resort Upgrading Programme.
This was announced by Minister of Information and Development, Donald Buchanan, at the weekly post Cabinet press briefing, held at Jamaica House on (Aug. 14).
Mr. Buchanan informed that the three major resorts to be upgraded were, Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
“In the case of Negril, the contract goes to Harold Morrison/Robert Woodstock and Sasaki Associates for US$1,059,435; Ocho Rios to Harold Morrison/Robert Woodstock and Sasaki Associates for US$1,065,970, and for Gloucester Avenue, Montego Bay, that has been awarded for a sum of US$429,038,” the Minister said.
Mr. Buchanan explained that the Comprehensive Resort Upgrading Programme sought to engage consultants to provide resort planning services for the upgrading and improvement of the urban environment of the resort towns of Negril, Montego Bay (Gloucester Avenue) and Ocho Rios.
“This entails the preparation of plans for the creation of resort towns with aesthetic appeal, unique features and facilities that will encourage increased opportunities for interaction with residents, spending infrastructure and conveniences to accommodate residents and visitors,” Mr. Buchanan informed.
More specifically, the plan will seek to identify options for new and expanded product development based on the special natural and cultural resources; determine how resort offerings should be upgraded and diversified, and to improve the level of attractiveness or image of the resort areas.
“The major financial return on investment will be realised through the increased expenditure from visitors as a result of higher visitor satisfaction indices, greater capacity of resorts for accommodating visitors and a re-orientation of business toward satisfying the new and emerging demands of our visitors,” the Minister said.
Mr. Buchanan pointed out that the work would proceed with immediate effect, and “we expect that within 12 months, all three aspects of this programme would have been completed.”