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Jamaica holidays in Ocho Rios to benefit from $1.8 Billion investment

  • 07-Sep-11 13:24
  • Jamaica
  • Caribbean News Now

The popular tourist town of Ocho Rios in St. Ann is to see a major revamp as a 1.8 billion development project is given the go ahead to improve Jamaica holidays in the resort and enhance the experience for visitors. The changes will be spread over 5 years

Jamaica holidays in Ocho Rios to benefit from $1.8 Billion investment

The quaint beach town of Ocho Rios in St. Ann, Jamaica will soon receive an image boost as a planned infrastructure development will be taking place over the course of five years. Revamping the tourism infrastructure of the whole beach resort and costing an estimated $1.8 billion in total, the new project's main aim is to put Ocho Rios at the top of the list of Jamaica holiday destinations.

The new infrastructure developments are expected to transform the many attributes of Ocho Rios and enhance the experience for holidaymakers with a range of new and exciting tourism products.

Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett spoke of the project, highly praising the initiative and adding that the renovation and expansion works are part of a series of plans put together by the Ministry with the aim of ensuring that the area's tourism infrastructure is greatly improved and that Jamaica holidays as a whole maintain their appealing image as the number one tropical holiday destination with more attractions than all of the Caribbean islands combined.

He said "We have taken a serious look at some of the critical areas of decay in the Ocho Rios area. We have focused primarily on the areas of sanitation and what contributes to what I call 'the uglyfication' of the town of Ocho Rios. We have also looked at some new developments for the town, one of which is the Artisan Village, a new concept in not only merchandising the creative products of our people, but also creating a setting for the creation of (unique, authentic, one-of-a-kind) products,"

Talking about the sky-rocketing cost of the project Bartlett went on to add "The artisan village (to cost $1 billion) will be an important addition to the infrastructure of Ocho Rios. We will be spending some $80 million in improving the general look and condition of the Ocho Rios town itself over the next eight months. I have allocated $1 million just for the maintenance of the drains on a weekly basis,"

The minister made emphasis on the fact that it was not the government's sole responsibility to maintain the lovely beach town of Ocho Rios in a clean and pristine condition, but that it was the responsibility of the local people and visitors enjoying holidays in Jamaica in the resort, to look after the environment and contribute to its wholesome image.

"The people in the town have to buy into it and take that responsibility. We can come in and put up the $80 million to fix up the sidewalks and to clean drains and to bush the area and generally give it an appearance of beauty, but it cannot be sustained unless the community buys into it and stop throwing the garbage all over the place,” - Bartlett said as he called on the wider business community to rise on that challenge and work together with the locals.

Already a popular beach resort for tourists going on Jamaica holidays, Ocho Rios is a small but beautiful town on Jamaica's northern coast. Once a fishing village it now caters to tourists and boasts a wide and varied array of world class resorts and luxury Jamaica hotels. Believed by many to be the town where Cristopher Columbus first set foot, visitors enjoying holidays in Ocho Rios can visit the Columbus Park, a museum exhibiting maritime memorabilia and Spanish colonial buildings. Ocho Rios also has several restaurants and night entertainment venues in Margaritaville and Dolphin Cove, where tourists go to swim with dolphins. The town once featured in the first ever James Bond film, Dr No, released in 1962 and starring Zena Marshall and Sean Connery. Most notably known for its impressive and abundant waterfalls, the mos famous of which is Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios offers tourists the opportunity to enjoy hiking tours to the falls and cool off in one of its crystal-clear pools. From the top of the waterfalls, hikers are able to see the coastline and party in a weekly event that involves dancing, music and, of course, swimming.

Mr Bartlett also pushed for the Anti Litter Act to be enforced in order to prevent people from inappropriately disposing of their garbage.

Backing his words and supporting his move for cleaner areas, Mrs. Robinson, from the Ocho Rios Division, described the developments as "good news" and added "The Councillor for the Ocho Rios Division, Neville Williams, and myself are heartened and encouraged by this tour, and the announcement by the Minister that funds will be allocated for cleaning and maintaining the main drain in Ocho Rios,"

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