Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Spanish Town full of tourism potential

Published:Wednesday | June 15, 2016 | 6:05 AM
The Old Iron Bridge in Spanish Town, St Catherine.
Dennis Robotham, president of the St Catherine Chamber of Commerce.
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Spanish Town, the capital of St Catherine, is full of heritage tourism opportunities, according to participants at a recent Gleaner growth and development forum held in the town.

“So far, a pilot project has reaped some fruit,” said Dennis Robotham, president of the St Catherine Chamber of Commerce, and chairman of the Heritage Trail Committee.

“Potential for the development of heritage tourism in Spanish Town is immeasurable.

“We cannot even start to imagine the impact on commerce in Spanish Town. It will open up numerous opportunities for businesses and employment for the young people,” he said.

Robotham added that because of funding constraints, a heritage tourism programme was being rolled out on a phased basis. He said that about $300 million is needed to fully actualise the project.

He said he recognised the urgency for Spanish Town to be ready to reap the windfall, when cruise ships start calling in Kingston, and Spanish Town is included as part of tourism tours.

‘CRAWLING PEG’ CONCERN

Spanish Town’s mayor, Norman Scott, said the “crawling peg” pace at which the pilot project was going concerned him.

“I was expecting to see a lot of tourists walking around Spanish Town by now,” Scott said.

“Anyway, I am thankful for what we have achieved so far.”

Addressing the issue of a lack of street signs giving clear directions in the town, the mayor revealed that he had requested money to erect new signs.

“In relation to the signs, I have requested money from the Equalisation Fund to plant appropriate signs and establish car parks around the town,” he disclosed.

With regard to the People’s Museum, an important element of the proposed ‘walking tour’, the mayor said the Institute of Jamaica had expressed interest in getting the museum open.

Urban Development Corporation (UDC) General Manager Desmond Malcolm said the UDC was prepared to fund the establishment of the “Devon House concept” in Emancipation Square, which has been proposed as part of the attraction.