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JIS News

The board of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has approved some $50 million for the beautification and upgrading of three of the island’s landmarks and heritage tourist sites.
Executive Director of the TEF, Ian Neita, told JIS News that of the sum, $25 million would go towards upgrading works at National Heroes Park;$20 million to Devon House, while $4.8 million has been approved for Trench Town Culture Yard.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director informed that the TEF would be undertaking other projects, which were associated with the staging of the ICC Cricket World Cup next year.
One such project, he noted, was the beautification of the entrances to the City of Kingston, including the roadway from the Norman Manley International Airport, along the Humming Bird route into New Kingston and from Jose Marti along the Ferry Road into downwtown Kingston.
In addition, funding has been granted for clean up and beautification exercises in all the resort towns.
According to Mr. Neita, the TEF was intended to be “the driving force behind the development of resort towns,” and in keeping with this mandate, “we allocated funding for the clean up of Montego Bay in anticipation of the largest cruise vessel in the world, Freedom of the Seas, which came to our island a few months ago.we did quite a bit of work to ensure that the city was clean and beautiful to welcome our guests”.
He said that this exercise would be extended to Port Antonio, Negril, Ocho Rios, Falmouth and the South Coast resort areas, which include St. Elizabeth, Clarendon and Manchester.
“We have formed a steering committee and we are seeking the assistance of consultants to develop plans for the resort towns, after which we will be proceeding with the implementation of those plans,” Mr. Neita informed.
He pointed out that committees have also been set up to facilitate all the other projects and plans.
In May, the TEF board granted similar approvals for tourism product enhancement projects including: $3.5 million for landscaping and beautification works along Main Street in Ocho Rios and $4 million towards the construction of a roundabout near Mineral Heights in Clarendon, to facilitate traffic flow along the island’s southern corridor.
The Tourism Enhancement Fund was established last year from fees collected from visitors to the island. The funds are to be used in a prudent manner and to finance projects that are intended to enhance the tourism product.