Dyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face


The newly-appointed Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Mr. Godfrey Dyer, is a man on a mission. With a passion for the industry, he is determined to change the face of Jamaica’s product.
“My appointment as Chairman is for three years, and I tell you when I leave at the end of the three years, I must be proud of what I see in Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Kingston, the South coast and all the resort areas,” he vows, with every bit of seriousness and resolve etched on his face. “I will accomplish this. Even it means I have to live on the streets to see that it happens, it is going to happen!” he exclaims.
With 29 solid years under his belt as a player in the tourism business, the former two-time President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has earned the authority to be taken seriously in the industry. “I want everybody to hold me to this commitment, for I want nothing less than the total transformation of the resort towns; and it is going to happen.”
Mr. Dyer has served on the board of the Tourism Enhancement Fund since it was established in 2005. The Fund is financed through fees collected from incoming airline and cruise ship passengers, and is intended to improve the tourism product and to make the resort more physically appealing. The heavily-promoted Spruce-Up Jamaica programme is being financed through the Fund, which now stands at $2 billion.
Among the projects already approved for financing under the Fund are a $60 million upgrading programme for small hotels; a $28 million improvement programme for the Montego Bay Hospital site on Gloucester Avenue; the renovation and beautification of Port Royal; the Seville Heritage Park as well as Hope Gardens in Kingston.
In addition, work is to be carried out on the craft markets in the resort areas. Mr. Dyer has raised concern about the time it takes between approval and implementation of projects, and this is an immediate issue that he intends to tackle as Chairman of the TEF. “We have to get things moving faster than we had in the past,” the new Chairman says. He reveals also that he will be monitoring the projects “very closely.”
In an interview, with JIS News at the Wexford Court Hotel which he formerly owned, the highly respected Western businessman says he is concerned about the look of the resort towns and the image being presented to visitors. He feels strongly that the country has to do better in terms of how it presents itself visually to people.
He stresses, however, that his ten-member board does not intend to take over the responsibilities of the local authorities. Rather, they will be working collaboratively toward the common goal of improving the physical environment of the resort areas.
Godfrey Dyer has had a long history of working collaboratively and in sustaining partnerships. He has a distinguished history of civic activism and community involvement.
He has served in various capacities in organizations such as the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the former Jamaica Telephone Company, now Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited, the Montego Bay Co-operative Credit Union, the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMPRO, now Jamaica Trade and Invest.
Born in Spaldings, Clarendon, he attended Knox College and has served in the police force, the insurance and furniture industries as well as in the media, where he ran a radio station.
His passion for service is boundless. And what consumes him now is the relentless drive to improve our tourism product. “I am determined to do it and I will do it,” he pledges.

JIS Social