$286m infrastructural developments for 'Ochi'
The resort town of Ocho Rios in St Ann is to benefit from an additional $286 million of government expenditure to undertake further infrastructural developments over the next six months.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett made the announcement. He said the engagements will include the construction of a boardwalk from the Ocho Rios Pier to the Ocean Village Shopping Centre and the town's main street commercial district.
This, the minister further stated, will be complemented by several sidewalk cafEs showcasing live reggae band performances, among other attractions, which he said are designed to "improve and enhance the visitor experience."
local craft traders
Bartlett said the resort town was also one of three sites selected for the development of artisan villages that will accommodate and showcase local craft traders and their products.
"This will be a real game changer for the craft sector, and will see them having far better access to cruise and stopover visitors (as well as) earning some much needed foreign exchange," said Bartlett, who was addressing a recent St Ann Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios.
The minister said Ocho Rios has, in recent years, benefited from significant government expenditure totalling more than $1 billion.
This, he said, has been administered through several state agencies, including the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Tourism Product Development Company, Urban Development Corporation, and Port Authority of Jamaica.
The minister said the resulting provisions have underpinned the stakeholder thrust to reposition the town as a "major force" in tourism product offerings.