MoBay needs a marquee attraction
St James will have to establish a premier tourist attraction of its own, if it is to capitalise on the thousands of cruise ship passengers that come to its port weekly, says Gloria Henry, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gloria Henry.
"Montego Bay does not have a marquee attraction," Henry said, during a Gleaner Editors' Forum held last week ahead of the Montego Bay Expo 2015 to be held next month.
"Our marquee attraction is Dunn's River Falls. When people come to Montego Bay, they jump on a bus; they go to Dunn's River. But Dunn's River is where? In Ocho Rios; and that's a marquee attraction for St Ann.
"St Ann has Dolphin Cove and zip-lining right there and Mystic Mountain; Trelawny has Good Hope; We (Montego Bay) don't really have anything, so we sell Dolphin Cove down in Hanover and we sell Dunn's River as the attraction. And that creates problems; it creates harassment because the bus operators are seriously competing to get the tourists to take them out of Montego Bay," she added.
Henry said Montego Bay, and St James by extension, was not short of suitable locations to establish at least one suitable attraction to complement the cruise-shipping port, and that the chamber was planning to lobby the relevant government agencies and 'show them what the possibilities are'.
"So we do need a marquee attraction, and I am telling you, we do have to get innovative and creative in Montego Bay as business people to develop that attraction. There are several places here, I believe that an attraction can be built and so the UDC and the investors in Montego Bay need to develop a marquee attraction if we are to grow cruise in Montego Bay and to get the passengers to get off the ship and to get their money as well," she said.