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Prime Minister Bruce Golding this morning (Feb 20) announced several major plans that will boost tourism development in Kingston, eastern Jamaica and sections of the South Coast.
Mr. Golding disclosed that just this week Cabinet had taken a decision to utilize the Luana property in St Elizabeth for the development of a new tourism resort that will revolutionize that section of Jamaica’s south coast. He said the Cabinet had taken the decision to terminate an agreement made by the previous government that sought to explore the possibility of developing an oil refinery at the property- a plan that he said had not materialized under that government.
Addressing this morning’s session ( Feb 20) of the first annual Tourism Outlook seminar for stakeholders in the industry at the Hilton Hotel, Prime Minister outlined a re-development plan for downtown Kingston which will include the establishment of a major financial sector, a major shopping area and the development of cruise shipping facility that will link Port Royal to the city of Kingston.
The Prime Minister said he has instructed the Transport and Works Minister Mike Henry , to re-visit a proposal submitted some 30-years ago by Moses Matalon to design a causeway that would link the Kingston harbor to Port Royal. He said the government was already talking to investors about developing a causeway between the two locations. ‘Just think of what it will mean if you have cruise ship arrivals coming to Port Royal, enjoying that recreation of our past and then coming across to Kingston to enjoy all the shopping facilities ? We are planning some really wonderful things . We will be de-silting the sunken city of Port Royal so that divers can go down to see what it used to be like’, Mr Golding said.
The plans for Eastern Jamaica include not only the development of the aerodrome in Duckenfield but the rebuilding and expansion of major sections of the roads which he said were falling into the sea. The Prime Minister said that where roads were compromising the development of beach front property, they would be moved further inland to free up land for tourism development. These major road developments would improve and shorten the distance and improve the journey from Kingston to Duckenfield.
The tourism outlook seminar is the brainchild of Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett who has been advocating for a repositioning of tourism as an export industry alongside the traditional agricultural and manufacturing sectors. The seminar heard presentations by Minister Ed Bartlett, the President of the World Travel and Tourism Council, Jean-Claude Baumgarten, the Director General and CEO of the Caribbean Hotel Association Mr Alec Sanguinetti, the Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Mr Vincent Vanderpool Wallace and several other local and international specialists in the tourism industry.