• JIS News

    Construction of a new convention centre in Montego Bay and the development of Falmouth as a mega-liner cruise ship port, are scheduled to begin next year.
    The construction of the new convention centre for Montego Bay will enable Jamaica to compete in the large convention market for which the country is so well suited in terms of its available room stock and its attractiveness as a brand-name destination but for which it has been hampered by the lack of convention facilities, according to Prime Minister, Hon Bruce Golding.
    Mr Golding made the disclosures this afternoon when he officially declared open, the Phase 1 of the new 5-star resort facility, Iberostar Rose Hall Beach hotel. Phase 2 is expected to be completed in May and Phase 3 by November 2008, adding just under 1,000 rooms to Jamaica’s resort capital, Montego Bay.
    However, Mr Golding noted that while Jamaica gears itself for these new investments and exciting developments, there are some challenges that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency .He said that while these high investments created job opportunities, Jamaica has been losing out on many of these jobs because its capacity to train workers to fill these jobs has been lagging behind, necessitating the importation of foreign workers for which Jamaicans can be trained. He noted too that as while efforts were being made to fill these jobs, the country had to ensure that housing is provided for these workers, otherwise the overcrowding that now exists in and around Montego Bay, the mushrooming of unplanned settlements and the social volatility that it incubates will threaten the viability and success of the very investments that are taking place.
    He said the country also needed to capitalise on meeting the increased demands by hotels for large quantities of foodstuff and other manufactured items. ” Our farmers and manufacturers have simply not been able to provide supplies of the required quality, in the required quantity and at the competitive prices”, Mr Golding noted. He also pointed to another area of deficiency in the lack of quality craft items. Mr Golding said government would be addressing these matters through the HEART/NTA programme, the National Housing trust, the Ministry of Agriculture and the establishment of a major craft training centre .