Kingston Leg of Spruce Up Jamaica Off to High Energy Start


Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has challenged Jamaicans to keep their end of the bargain to maintain “a good environmental countenance” ahead of and beyond the upcoming Winter Tourist Season, which begins December 15.
“I am just coming from what I would consider a very successful due diligence trip in Europe, as I got both a chance to market Jamaica on the tour as well as meet with investors. As a matter of fact, I have an agreement with a key high level investor out of Spain who is scheduled to visit Jamaica next week with an interest for a major tourism development that involves Ocho Rios and Montego Bay,” the Minister stated as he drummed up support for the remaining planks of the Spruce Up Jamaica campaign.
The Minister was speaking this morning at a ceremony to kick off the Kingston leg of the islandwide Spruce Up Jamaica: Nice Up Yuhself Campaign at the Palisadoes Roundabout near Norman Manley International Airport.
Mr. Bartlett emphasized that the objective of Spruce Up was not merely to prepare the island for visitors even as he underscored the importance of welcoming investors, foreigners and returning citizens alike to a clean, pleasing and welcoming environment.
“So, we are going to spruce up on the way to prosperity, and improve Jamaica – in appearance, in confidence and in the overall quality of life, including the finances,” stated the two and a half month old Tourism Minister, who assumed his responsibilities at a blistering pace in late September 2007.
Meanwhile Chairman of the Kingston Chapter of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and Chairman of the Taskforce Committee for Spruce up Jamaica, Nicola Madden-Gregg has joined voices with the Minister of Tourism in an effort to sustain Kingston’s resort face.
“Kingston now brings 13% of leisure and business tourists to the island and we can do so much more if all Jamaicans are attuned to keeping the surroundings clean for the long haul, not just for the duration of this project” she said as she chaired this morning’s ceremony.
SpruceUp Jamaica, nice Up Yuhself is a six-week campaign and is essentially a resort beautification programme with a focus on preparing the resorts for the start of the winter tourist season December 15.
It is a collaborative effort involving the government, private sector stakeholders and communities and has so far included the pruning of overgrown trees and shrubs, painting of sidewalks and verges and the removal of debris and other objects that reduce Kingston’s beauty.
The resort areas that have been targeted include Montego Bay, Falmouth, Ocho Rios, Negril, Portland, Kingston, and the South Coast.
Beyond the largely environmental aspect, the Ministry of Tourism has identified the crucial urgency with which we must improve service delivery in our resorts. In that regard service is also being spruced up by way of an accompanying Customer Service awareness and improvement drive throughout the sector and will be commence in early December.
The government had a preliminary budget to spend some $24 million through the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), but the project could have an additional spend of $31 million once all the stakeholders, including the cruise liners and the private sector interests make their committed contributions in cash and kind.
With the enlisted support from partners such as the National Solid Waste Management Authority and the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation it is expected that a greater focus will surround environmental stewardship and that as the Spruce up Jamaica campaign is sustained throughout the years it will be a system in the government’s drive to enforce the Anti-litter Laws of Jamaica.

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