JIS News

The six-week campaign, which is designed to clean and beautify resort areas across the island, was launched in Ocho Rios on Friday (Nov. 2) by Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett.
The project dubbed: ‘Spruce up Jamaica-Nice up Yuhself’, is a collaborative effort involving the government, private sector stakeholders and communities, and will include the pruning of overgrown trees and shrubs, painting of sidewalks and verges, and the removal of debris and other objects that create an eyesore.
Minister Bartlett, is his remarks at the launching ceremony held at the Ruins, said that while the six-week campaign will “give a shock treatment to the resort areas, when we are through, the normal maintenance programme will kick in and we are going to put in place maintenance contracts to keep the (areas) clean and spruced-up.”
He said there will be competitions to ensure that operators of businesses and attractions “keep up their end of the bargain by keeping their shop fronts in good condition and maintaining their properties at a certain level.”
Stating that “tourism is everywhere”, the Minister said that the programme is not just for the resort areas but for all Jamaica.
In terms of the cost for the project, Minister Bartlett said that the government has budgeted to spend $24 million through the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), but the project “could have a final spend of $75 million” once all the stakeholders, including the cruise liners and the private sector interests, make their contribution in cash and kind.
He informed that cruise liners have committed to providing more than 100,000 gallons of the 180,000 gallons of paint needed and one entity has committed to painting pedestrian crossings islandwide.
According to the Tourism Minister, the project “is not to take away the core responsibility of the National Solid Waste Management Authority or the local government authorities; that core responsibility continues. What we’re doing is helping to keep the integrity of the process that those agencies of government are charged to do,” he stated.
Chairperson for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) in Ocho Rios, Vana Taylor, pledged the organization’s support for the project and expressed the hope that the campaign will be extended to surrounding areas such as Runaway Bay, Discovery Bay, Tower Isle and Oracabessa.
In the meantime, the work being carried out in Ocho Rios, which started a week ago, includes the cleaning of drains, trimming of overhanging trees, painting sidewalks in and around the town, giving a face-lift to the clock tower located in the town centre, instituting a parking metre system and strengthening anti-litter laws.