- The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is continuing its effort to improve the tourism product and enhance the visitor experience, with the implementation of the National Rest Stop Programme.
- This is an islandwide initiative, aimed at increasing the number of places where commuting visitors and locals can stop to refresh themselves, then continue on their journey.
- The $70 million programme will see the TEF identifying locations across the island to engage in partnerships to implement the initiative.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is continuing its effort to improve the tourism product and enhance the visitor experience, with the implementation of the National Rest Stop Programme.
This is an islandwide initiative, aimed at increasing the number of places where commuting visitors and locals can stop to refresh themselves, then continue on their journey.
The $70 million programme will see the TEF identifying locations across the island to engage in partnerships to implement the initiative.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 2, Executive Director of the TEF, Clyde Harrison, explained that already, 12 of 50 facilities have been upgraded under the programme.
He further highlighted that the programme is built on partnerships, with ongoing discussions being held with owners and operators of various locations to determine the level of investment and the facilities and services that will be made available to the public.
“We are not seeking to set up standalone rest stops, but we are seeking to establish a partnership to create an environment and facilities where the public can use safely…so these locations may be gas stations, restaurants and other areas that are already offering some form of service to the public,” the Executive Director explained.
The scope of work will include installation of signage leading to, and at Rest Stops, improvements to the restroom, installation of benches, upgrades for safety, sanitation and use by the physically challenged.
For those Rest Stops which meet the programme requirements, there will be agreements between TEF and owner(s)/operator(s) in respect of the work to be done.
“We expect these locations to maintain certain product quality requirements…so our sister entity, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) will do regular checks to ensure that a certain standard is being maintained,” Mr. Harrison said.
He informed that the programme is being implemented in two phases, with the first involving the identification of locations, entering into arrangements with the owners/operators and qualifying them in terms of product quality, then installing the signs at the locations.
Phase two, he added, is to create the capacity for the locations to facilitate the disabled that may want to use the facilities.
Elaborating on the matter of signage, the Director of Projects at the TEF, Christopher Miller, pointed out that “we have deliberately installed signs leading to each rest stop with the first sign being 1.5 km away in both directions, the second sign is 0.5 km from the location and then there is a welcome sign.”
“Interestingly, on the 0.5 km and welcome signs are some international symbols that inform you of the amenities located at each stop…so for the gas station, you will see the fuel symbol…and the restaurant will have the knife and fork symbol,” Mr. Miller explained.
Some of the locations that have been completed under the progamme are: Lyming in Walkerswood; Scotchies Jerk Centre at Drax Hall, St. Ann; Kool Oasis Gas Station in St. Ann’s Bay; Roxborough Restaurant also in St. Ann; the Ultimate Jerk Centre on the Runaway Bay/Discovery By stretch; Columbus Park in Discovery Bay; Burwood Beach, Trelawny; Glistening Waters in Falmouth and Holland Bambo in St. Elizabeth.
Interested parties must complete the TEF National Rest Stop Programme Application Form at: www.mot.gov.jm and submit same with a cover letter. The cover letter and application form may be submitted manually or electronically using the following information: Executive Director, Tourism Enhancement Fund, Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.