• JIS News

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding has announced that through the Urban Development Corporation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just acquired the old Myrtle Bank hotel site on which the Ministry’s new offices will be constructed.
    He said this was part of the programme to put a freeze on downtown government agencies moving from the area. He was speaking this morning (Feb 20) at the first annual Tourism Outlook seminar for stakeholders in the tourism industry at the Hilton.
    Mr. Golding said that other foreign affairs embassies which did not own their own buildings and were paying rent had also indicated an interest in building downtown as well. Mr. Golding explained that this move was a deliberate one as in every other major city in the world, foreign missions prefer to be very close to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
    He said discussions have already been held with foreign missions and they have indicated that if government makes land available to them in downtown Kingston, they are prepared to put up their own embassies.
    ‘ So we are moving on this because it represents yet another frontier that we want to conquer. In all of this, we are seeking to build the vertical and the horizontal linkages. It’s not going to happen organically. It will only happen if it is done deliberately and strategically’, Mr Golding asserted.
    Mr. Golding paid tribute to all the stakeholders in the tourism industry for the tremendous work they have been doing. He said the country had come a long way in tourism but that it had now reached a stage where it is necessary to chart a new way into the future.
    “We have to start looking for that value added which will redefine the way we proceed from here. We are all partners and shareholders in this enterprise called tourism Jamaica and I urge you to continue to partner with us to help us to build this industry so that all of us can prosper’, Mr. Golding concluded.
    The tourism Outlook seminar is the brainchild of Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett who has been advocating for a repositioning of tourism as an export industry alongside the traditional agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

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