JIS News

A tourism office is to be established soon in the resort town of Ocho Rios, St. Ann, to organize and make productive plans for the area.
This is a joint effort of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
Speaking at a meeting of the Resort Board in Ocho Rios on February 6, Executive Director of TPDCo, Michael Muirhead, said the two main areas which the office would cover were product development and product quality.
“We are no longer going to deliver hard assets, but seek to let the private sector do what they want, and we create the environment and provide the architects and skills for quality attractions,” he said.
“Also, as we facilitate and co-ordinate, in order to encourage more entrepreneurship, we will be there to help with developments from concept to reality, assuring projects for grant purposes, by identifying all facets of the projects, so that they can be viable,” Mr. Muirhead added.
On the matter of training, the Executive Director said the company would continue this drive, and ensure that some 70,000 persons in the industry get training in partnership with HEART/National Training Agency.
He emphasized that projects undertaken by TPDCo would be done properly, and to the benefit of the country.
“One such project was the south coast sustainable venture, which would bring great benefit to Jamaica, and other special projects such as the beautification and enhancement of the tourist areas, an initiative started in Port Antonio, and would be taken to other resort areas”.
Describing Dunn’s River and Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, as the two best attractions in the Caribbean, Mr. Muirhead told the craft traders present that it was necessary that they provided craft items that were of quality, “so that people will clamour to come and shop”.
Commenting on the maintenance of law and order in the town, he pointed out that 30 patrol officers had been assigned, “who are functioning similar to police officers, and helping to reduce harassment and other illegal activities in the area”.

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