JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that the Montego Bay Convention Centre, being constructed at Rose Hall, St James, will be a strategic addition to Jamaica’s tourism product and infrastructure.
“For Jamaica it is a significant development. For tourism stakeholders; a dream come true,” Mr. Golding told a groundbreaking ceremony held at the site this morning(Sat, Feb 14), at which visiting Vice President of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping, who was on a 3-day official visit to Jamaica, was special guest.
The project is to be funded by a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China under an agreement signed in 2007. Construction of the facility is expected to be completed over the next 20-months.
Mr Golding said the Convention Centre was a long needed facility, as Jamaica, and Montego Bay in particular, has strong appeal in the leisure market.
He said that with the recent addition of 2,500 rooms, Montego Bay now offers a total of 15,000 rooms, of which 5,000 are located in the Rose Hall corridor. However, Mr Golding noted that the country has been unable to capitalize on convention business, as it lacks the necessary facilities.
This situation would be remedied with the completion of the centre, he said, as he expressed appreciation to the Government of China for making it possible.
In his address China’s Vice President, His Excellency Xi Jinping, congratulated the Government of Jamaica on the project.
He described his visit, at the invitation of the Jamaican Government, as a very successful one, as it would contribute to further strengthening relations and economic co-operation between the two countries.
The Government of China intends to build on these relations and to provide economic and social partnerships with Jamaica, and other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America, he said.
Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said that the centre will be part of the critical infrastructure necessary to facilitate the repositioning of Jamaica as an events destination in the global tourism market.
“Already, several organizations are lining up to take advantage of this facility, which cannot be completed too soon,”the Minister said.
Agreement for the construction of the Montego Bay Convention Centre was initiated in 2005. The Centre is situated on 9.3 hectares of land adjacent to the Rose Hall Great House, St. James. It will provide convention facilities, inclusive of meeting rooms, banquet halls and exhibition space for western Jamaica.
The Chinese delegation, which has been in Jamaica since February 11 on a 3-day official visit, left the island yesterday afternoon for Colombia, in continuation of their visit to the region.
Before leaving the delegation toured the Rose Hall Great House, and visited Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay.

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