Hanover wants more from tourism pie
Nerris Hawthorne, head of the Lucea Development Initiative, says very little has been done in terms of investment and development for her hometown. Hawthorne said that it is high time Lucea gets a fair share of the tourism pie.
"The entire tourism dollar that comes in and goes into that TEF (Tourism Enhancement Fund) coffers is being spent on towns like Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and even Falmouth which, up to a few years ago, did not have anything. A lot of money is being spent on those areas, but where is our share?"
Hawthorne argued that the lack of reinvestment in Lucea and other areas of the parish have led to an increase in criminality and a sense of hopelessness among the youth.
"We know all these other places are benefiting from our hotels, yet we are getting nothing, and the people are fed up and tired of it now. Hanover has not been given a fair share of money being spent back in the parish, and the justice we want is a fair share," she added.
Hanover recorded 61 murders in 2017, up from 53 in 2016. Police statistics show that eight persons were murdered in the parish up to February 10, which represents a 42 per cent decrease when compared with the corresponding period last year. Shootings have, however, increased by 28 per cent.
"For the crime to stop, they [the youth] got to become stakeholders. Something has to be in it for them. Why should youngsters be worried about the effect that crime is going to have on tourism if it doesn't matter to them whether or not one, two or 10 tourists come to Jamaica," she argued.
"So in order for us to have everything inclusive for the rich, the poor, then we need some money that is coming from Hanover being pumped back into our parish so that the people can see it, and then it would not be such an unjust society."
Hanover has the third-highest number of hotel rooms in the island, with first-class facilities such as Round Hill Hotel, Tryall Club, Grand Palladium, Riu Palace Tropical Bay, Clubhotel Riu Negril, and Sunset at the Palms.