Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett on Thursday (October 29) broke ground for a new development at The Shoppes at Rose Hall in Montego Bay, St. James.
The shopping mall, which was recently acquired by Chandiram Limited, is being rebranded to reflect a tourism Linkages Centre of Excellence, which is aimed at showcasing the best of the island.
The first phase of the rebranded facility is expected to be completed in time for the 2020/2021 winter tourism season, while full completion of the project is slated for next year.
In his remarks, Mr. Bartlett said the new tourism paradigm calls for innovation and the concept to rebrand the mall, will provide elements of authentic Jamaican experiences.
“Shopping is a huge part of the attraction that Jamaica has that is under-utilized, under positioned and under presented and we think that the cultural values and the cultural assets of Jamaica exemplified in the products manufactured by our own people are at the level where they can be showcased effectively and have world responses,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett further noted that Jamaica’s tourism is being built on a linkages concept that embraces the pillars of agriculture and manufacturing, gastronomy, sports and entertainment, health and wellness, as well as, shopping and knowledge.
“[The entity] will create an experience to include the best of Jamaican gastronomy, local entertainment, authentic made in Jamaica products that showcase the talent of local designers and health and wellness offerings, Mr. Bartlett said.
For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Chandiram Limited, Anup Chandiram, thanked the Minister and the Linkages Council for the vision to “re-imagine, re-purpose and rebrand this facility.”
Mr. Chandiram further noted that he hopes the newly rebranded The Shoppes at Rose Hall “becomes a facility that will showcase the best of Jamaica, all in one place.”
“We want the best jerk, ice cream, patties, coffee, fresh fruit [and so on]. We want to infuse reggae dancehall, ska and rocksteady to show our culture to our visitors, most importantly we need to be authentic,” he added.