Thursday 20 September, 2018

$340 million 'spruce up' programme coming for the main resort areas

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett (centre), along with (L-R) Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Jennifer Griffith; Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr Andrew Spencer; Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon; and Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr Carey Wallace, participate In the signing of a contract on Monday, to implement the Tourism Resort Maintenance programme.

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett (centre), along with (L-R) Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Jennifer Griffith; Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company, Dr Andrew Spencer; Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon; and Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Dr Carey Wallace, participate In the signing of a contract on Monday, to implement the Tourism Resort Maintenance programme.

The Ministry of Tourism, through its beautification programme, Spruce up Jamaica, has embarked on a $340 million programme aimed at providing a clean and aesthetically appealing environment to increase attractiveness for visitors and businesses in the country’s main resort areas.

The five-month collaboration with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to implement the Tourism Resort Maintenance Programme, which is to be funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will be administered by the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo).

The partnership between the NSWMA and the Ministry of Tourism includes the provision of labour, tools and planting materials, and will focus on beautifying the resort areas of Jamaica and maintenance of the Northern Coastal Highway. 

Speaking at the contract-signing ceremony on Monday at the ministry in New Kingston, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, cited the importance of beautification to enhance and maintain the tourism product.

“The business of environmental safety and beautification is a vital part of the product of the tourism sector. The experience that we sell to the world is not just about bed and breakfast or sun, sand and sea, but it is also about the aesthetics and environmental integrity of the area. It is about enabling visitors to come to Jamaica and breathe fresh, clean air. Our job is to make the destination assured, and a big part of that assurance is our partnership with the providers of the services that secure the infrastructure of our country,” he said.

Bartlett went on to express his confidence in the partnership with the NSWMA, which he said functions as custodians of the country by striving to provide a clean and safe environment.

He said the programme will focus on the resort areas, making specific mention of Negril, Montego Bay, Port Antonio, Falmouth, Ocho Rios, Treasure Beach and Kingston, as these areas are frequented by visitors for the Jamaican culinary experience, and need to be clean and sanitary to meet not only local, but also global standards.

Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, expressed delight at the partnership and recognition of the importance of the public service role the agency plays.

“The NSWMA is delighted to partner with the tourism sector, not only because of the weight we place on the environmental aesthetics of the country, but also because we deem this a privilege to serve the people, and will ensure that we play our part to assist in the improvement of Jamaica’s  tourism product,” he said

The all-island Tourism Resort Maintenance programme is to be conducted under the Spruce up Jamaica programme, which was first implemented in 2007 by the Ministry of Tourism to try and ensure that the resort areas are kept in acceptable condition.

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