JIS News

The Port Authority of Jamaica has given its commitment to develop, market and promote facilities in Port Antonio, in the effort to help re-position the town as a leading tourist resort and cruise ship destination.
Robert Stephens, Vice President in Charge of Business Development at the Authority, said the company was willing to work with public and private sector organizations in Portland to achieve that objective.He was addressing business persons and representatives of tourism related ventures at the new Port Antonio marina last week.
The meeting was held to provide an update on the progress of developmental projects being implemented in Port Antonio by the Authority, and to reach a consensus with the people of the town in respect of the kind of infrastructural and commercial development to be undertaken in order to improve its appeal as a tourist destination.
Commenting on the projects implemented by the Port Authority, Mr. Stephens said the new Port Antonio marina was established particularly for the purpose of having cruise ship visits and generally for the development of mega yachting.
He noted that the marina and the restaurant facilities were fully developed, and that management was now in place to operate the complex.
Mr. Stephens pointed out that the Authority would not be building the other commercial facilities to be included in the complex, but would instead be inviting the public to become involved in those investments, in order to enable business persons to share in the benefits to be derived from its operation. He encouraged residents of Port Antonio and the wider Portland community to embrace the opportunities being presented to them with these investment possibilities, before they are taken by persons from outside the parish.
Mr. Stephens said the Authority wished to work with Portlanders to make Port Antonio a first class destination for tourists and Jamaican visitors, adding that his organization was making contacts with a number of cruise shipping companies with a view to having them include Port Antonio as a port of call for their cruise vessels.
He emphasised that it was important for the communities of the parish to develop attractions for the tourists, and pointed out that the production of quality art and craft that would interest the visitors, was one way to attract them.
On the relocation of the craft market from its present site at the back of the Musgrave market, Mr. Stephens said the Port Authority was exploring the possibility of acquiring the incomplete Port Antonio Craft Village on Allan Avenue from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), with a view to completing it and making it available to the craft vendors.