Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Tourism ministry endorses Portland weekend event

Published:Wednesday | February 5, 2020 | 12:16 AMGareth Davis Sr - Hospitality Jamaica Writer

Port Antonio, Portland:

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF)-sponsored Portland Paradise Weekend (PPW), which was deemed a success, has been fully endorsed by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, who also stated that the event has the potential for growth.

Minister Bartlett, who has been praised highly for ­transforming Jamaica’s tourism sector into a ­modern-day industry, singled out the three-day ­weekend event as one that will ­continue to enjoy the support of the tourism ministry and its relevant agencies.

“This is a great initiative that showcases the best of Portland and its wonderful tourism offerings,” the minister noted.

“We at the ministry take note that it also attracts a lot of Portlanders living in the diaspora, as well as growing number of overseas visitors. Portland is one of the most beautiful parishes in the country, and an initiative like Portland Paradise can only add to the diversity of our tourism product.”

The tourism minister added that the ministry has earmarked Portland for future development, noting that the upgrading of the Ian Flemming International Airport in Boscobel, St Mary, will make it easier to get visitors into Portland.

Meanwhile, senior strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, said he is cognisant that the Portland Paradise Weekend has been garnering a lot of support from locals living in the Corporate Area, adding “it is now being viewed as a chance to get away and visit beautiful Port Antonio for the weekend and in a very affordable manner”.

He added that the beauty about Port Antonio is that it is not ­heavily commercialised and offers the ­perfect getaway. He noted, “I can easily see this event as one of the must-see events on the calendar, and the entire parish of Portland can only be better for it.”

The Beaconstride Enterprises Portland Paradise Weekend was held from December 6–8 with a welcome party dubbed ‘fire and ice’ at Hotel Tim Bamboo. On Saturday, December 7, the popular sun break breakfast beach party at Shan-shy Beach; and Frosted, which is an all-white and all-­inclusive beach party, was held on the 8th of December.

“Now in its fifth year, the PPW event will be held from Friday, December 11 through to the 13th, “commented Eunice Rashford, president of Beacon Stride Enterprises.

She added “This event’s for both the local and overseas guests. I am forever grateful to Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund for their endorsement and sponsorship. Approximately US$16,000 or J$2.1 million was spent for food, hotel, and Airbnb accommodation over the three-day period.

“Additionally, local businesses saw an increase in their sales. Overall, the event boosts the local economy. I am pleased that the Ministry of Tourism and its agencies see it fit to support this initiative. Their support has driven our marketing campaign to a higher level.”