A new Tourism Centre, that will house all the agencies of the Ministry of Tourism, was officially declared open yesterday (June 25) in Montego Bay S.James by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding.
Mr. Golding said despite criticisms that Government is moving to open this facility in these challenging economic times, he was pleased to be associated with this investment, that could help the country to survive these turbulent economic times.
Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding, gets a chance to tour the new facilities of the ‘one stop’ tourism centre in Montego Bay St. James, after he officially declared the facility opened yesterday. The new centre will allow all the tourism agencies such as the JTB, JAMVAC, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and TPDCO, to function more effectively, in a more integrated and co-ordinated way. Photo shows PM Golding greeting a member of staff of the JTB. Sharing in the occasion are (l-r) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Mrs. Jennifer Hibbert, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett and, Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund Earl Patrick.
“To the extent that this facility will enable critical quarterbacking agencies such the JTB, JAMVAC, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and TPDCO, to function more effectively, in a more integrated and co-ordinated way, then the expenditure which was undertaken to provide the new facility, may be one of the initiatives that will help us not only through the turbulence of the current economic crisis, but will provide the platform for significant recovery and growth once the economic crisis has passed”, Mr. Golding told stakeholders attending yesterday’s official opening function.
Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the integrated facility that offers a one-stop opportunity for all tourism services to be delivered has finally come to fruition. “I want to say that this was a commitment that the Government had made to the industry that Montego Bay, the epicentre of tourism, not only in Jamaica but the Caribbean, should have a full service from tourism. We were inadequate in terms of facilities to provide that, especially when we added JAMVAC and the Tourism Enhancement Fund”. He said that when the flagship programme of ‘Spruce Up Jamaica’ came on board and several other projects were going on in Montego Bay, it required a broader scope of management and more space. Mr. Bartlett said the new space is adequate and strategic as it allows “us to see the first tourist that lands and the last one to leave.’ The Minister expressed appreciation to all the stakeholders and the contractors.
The agencies which will be housed in the new Jamaica Tourism Centre in Montego Bay will include the JTB, the marketing arm of the Ministry of Tourism; JAMVAC, the principal agency that drives airlift support into Jamaica; TPDCO, the main tourism product development agency; and the Tourism Enhancement Fund which implements projects and programmes for sustainable tourism development.