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Opposition Leader, Bruce Golding has suggested that the government give serious consideration to aggressively promoting Jamaica as an attractive destination for high-end, high value-added tourists. Mr. Golding, who was making his contribution to the 2006/2007 Budget Debate in Gordon House yesterday (May 4), said the island should look to targeting wealthy tourists such as those “who travel in private jets and luxury yachts”.
“That is the secret of the success of the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos and the Virgin Islands,” he said, adding that capturing this market would mean providing facilities for corporate jets, luxury villas and boutique hotels, marinas and support services.
A high-end tourist market, he proposed, could be developed with private capital. “The market exists for both investors and end users but we have to promote and market it,” the Opposition Leader remarked, further noting that such a market could rejuvenate resort areas such as Port Antonio and the entire northeast coast.
He said further that more should be done to promote the development of resort condominiums, “to attract that growing clientele that is prepared to spend more than just the cost of a holiday package.”
On the issue of attractions, Mr. Golding told members of the House, “we need to market Jamaica as a place of investments not only in hotels but in major attractions.”
Citing the Rose Hall Great House as just one example, he said that the facility could be transformed with “state-of-the-art lighting, sound effects and colourful costumes, into a magnificent showpiece where the travails of Annie Palmer and her many lovers could be re-enacted.anyone who has been to Disneyworld knows the magnificence of which I speak,” Mr. Golding stated. Continuing, he said the possibilities for diversifying Jamaica’s tourism product should be extended to include the southeast end of the island, as “sugar and banana no longer provide any significant livelihood component for the people of that region”
“The pioneers of tourism development in south St. Elizabeth have shown us what new thinking and dogged perseverance can accomplish,” Mr. Golding pointed out.