Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has hailed the Golden Eye Expansion Project in St. Mary as an initiative that will enhance Jamaica’s economic development and assist in maintaining the country’s attractiveness as a tourist destination, despite the current global economic crisis.
Addressing the groundbreaking ceremony for the project at Golden Eye in Oracabessa on Friday (Aug. 14), during a tour of several developments in St. Mary, Mr. Golding said the initiative will offer new concepts in the tourism market which will create a special global niche for Jamaica’s tourism product.
The project, which is being undertaken by Golden Eye Development, spearheaded by music mogul and developer, Chris Blackwell, will entail the construction of 11 beach cottages, a new suspension bridge, and a new beach front restaurant. Work, which has already started, is expected to be completed by September 2010.
The development is expected to provide job opportunities for residents of Oracabessa, as well as enhance environmental programmes through the concept of destination tourism.
Describing the project as “remarkable”, Mr. Golding contended that it is being implemented at a time when global economies are experiencing severe challenges with investors being selective about the projects they get involved in.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding (2nd left), relaxes ahead of the start of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Golden Eye Expansion Project in Oracabessa, St. Mary, on Friday, August 14, at which he was the guest speaker. Also pictured, from left are: head of Golden Eye Development, which is undertaking the project, Chris Blackwell; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with Responsibility for Information and Telecommunication, Hon. Daryl Vaz (2nd right); and State Minister in the OPM with responsibility for Local Government and Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, where the development is being undertaken, Hon. Robert Montague.
In praising the investors for their confidence undertaking the project, Mr. Golding expressed optimism and the hope that the visionary leadership displayed by Mr. Blackwell in other ventures with which he has been associated, will be brought to bear on the Golden Eye Expansion Initiative, thereby replicating the successes of those undertakings.
Declaring that Jamaica must always aim to offer new concepts and products in order to remain competitively relevant, Mr. Golding intimated his delight that the country is now developing the concept of leisure tourism that will enhance its attractiveness to visitors.
Noting that the project will bring out creative ideas that will enhance Jamaica’s appeal as a visitor destination, Mr. Golding said the undertaking will help to safeguard the country’s economy, even as it struggles to confront the current economic challenges.
State Minister with Responsibility for Local Government in the Office of the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for Western St. Mary, where the development is located, Hon. Robert Montague, said the project would significantly enhance the economic development of Oracabessa, St. Mary, and the entire country.
Mr. Blackwell, who also spoke, thanked the members of the investment team for their work on the project.