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Tourism development planned for Jamaica's Treasure Beach

  • 01-Aug-11 10:13
  • Jamaica
  • Jamaica Gleaner

Although the tourism industry is blossoming, with more travellers going to Jamaica holidays each year, the small community of Treasure Beach is suffering from a lack of innovation projects in the small sector of bed and breakfast accommodation.

Tourism development planned for Jamaica's Treasure Beach

Considered the leading events-tourism destination in Jamaica the holiday resort of Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth is now looking to enhance and improve its bed and breakfast accommodations in order to capitalise on gains made from the blossoming Jamaica holidays industry.

With as many as 51 tourist accommodations in total, according to treasurebeach.net, the bed and breakfast market needs a refreshing revamp in order to be able to complete with larger establishments.

According to Jason Henzell, Chairman of Breds, The Treasure Beach Foundation; the villa market in this beach town is growing, and as a consequence most capital investments are going into high-end facilities, and the always popular all-inclusives, so to counter-act this trend the organisation is developing and planning to launch soon a full programme to help small Jamaica hotels improve and refresh their package offerings.

"We tend to talk about guest houses, but the overseas visitor knows nothing about guest houses. It must either be a bed and breakfast, hotel or a villa. So it is important that the bed-and-breakfast player gets some assistance to get ready for this type of market." - Henzell explained.

For the most part, bed and breakfast hotels in Jamaica are small lodging establishments offering overnight stays plus breakfast, but usually do not cover any other meals as part of their accommodation package. In Treasure Beach, most small bed and breakfast properties are privately owned and accommodation is provided inside private homes with fewer than 10 bedrooms available for outside visitors. This concept differs considerably from the worldwide bed and breakfast board basis offered by most hotels around the globe.

"Any improvement to increase business for the smaller players will certainly be welcome, because the people that are getting most of the business now are the villas," says Dennis Decouza, a bed and breakfast operator in the region who claims he has been surviving on repeat customers, even more so since the global recession hit the world's biggest economies. "What is needed at this time is more marketing to ensure that all the businesses get a slice of the cake."

The charming and secluded Treasure Beach community is beautifully encircled by striking black-sand beaches and offers the discerning traveller with more subdued and relaxed Jamaica holidays away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city of Kingston and other larger resorts. It is famous for hosting various literary and cultural festivals throughout the year as well as sporting events.

And good news are coming for the bed and breakfast hotel owners in Jamaica, as it has been recently announced that the second phase of construction for an international sporting complex, valued at some $120 million, is now under way.

"It is our biggest project yet, and is a demonstration of how serious we are about developing a serious sports-tourism product. But if we are going to promote sports tourism, the teams, students and coaches are going to want to stay somewhere that is affordable or at least have options," said Henzell.

An opening date for 10th September 2011 is being targeted for the new facility, which will consist of four football fields and three cricket pitches in this phase, while the tennis, basketball and netball courts, as well as a family picnic area and community centre, will be completed afterwards.

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