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Every community along Jamaica’s north coast, from Negril to Port Antonio, will be designated a resort area, as the Government moves to provide more economic opportunities for Jamaicans.
“We are going to be increasing the range and activities in those areas so as to provide more opportunities for entrepreneurship,” said Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, at a meeting with a group of journalists last week in Toronto, Canada.
He argued that if the resort areas are developed, there will be enough economic activity for everyone, and the need to harass tourists will disappear.
“So, if we bring more cruise passengers into these ports, if we bring more visitors into these areas, then there will be more wallets to pull from and there will be a greater demand for goods and services to be supplied by more people,” he pointed out.
Turning to other matters, Minister Bartlett, stated the value of destination Jamaica, in terms of product development, is being strengthened in several ways, including through casino gaming, which should come on stream shortly. “Casino gaming is an important product enhancement activity,” he contended.
He informed that the legislative process has now been completed and the commissioners, who will have the power to grant and revoke casino licences, were recently appointed. The next step is for the commission to be set up to develop regulations to implement and award licences.
The Tourism Minister made it clear that Jamaica will not be a casino destination but will “have just enough to allow for the high rollers to come.”
“Casino gaming will not be dotting the landscape of Jamaica. We are going to be looking at very careful geographic destination and no more than three licences will be issued in the first instance and a possibility of no more than five overall,” he explained.