Loan facility launched for community tourism
A government-backed community tourism loan facility is scheduled to be launched at BREDS Treasure Beach Sports Park, Calabash Bay, Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth.
Floyd Green, member of parliament for South West St Elizabeth, in whose constituency the launch will take place, said the loan facility is a welcome development for his people.
"We have prided ourselves as having one of the best community tourism models in this hemisphere which focuses on small hotels/villas and persons who open their homes. The development of the industry, however, has been held back because of the inaccessibility of funding for these small property owners," Green said.
"This facility will be a game changer that allow our owners to invest, retool and refurbish, leading to an even better visitor experience for those who journey to our south coast," the MP told THE STAR.
The loan scheme is being financed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and will be administered by Jamaica National Small Business Loans. This initiative is in keeping with the Ministry of Tourism's National Community Tourism Policy and Strategy aimed at developing community tourism islandwide to diversify the island's tourism product.
Community tourism has been seen as one of the avenues to making the industry more inclusive. The Tourism Product Development Company has been working with the Policy Division of the ministry to address the issues that arise. These include marketing and compliance with licensing regulations.
The TEF has established the revolving loan facility to foster the development of small tourism attractions, properties and businesses.