Ten beaches to be upgraded this year
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett says that 10 beaches are being upgraded this year under the Government's beach development programme.
The initiative, which is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) through support from the Tourism Product Development Company and other partners, aims to provide access to quality public beach recreational facilities.
Bartlett noted that $104 million has been spent on three beaches and work is under way on others, which will be opened by year end.
"The next one we will open is going to be Lyssons [Beach] in St Thomas, where we spent $49 million to upgrade; and then Boston Beach, then Winnifred Beach (both in Portland). We are going to do other beaches in the west," he said.
Bartlett was speaking at the official opening of the Marking Stone Beach in St Mary last week, which was renovated at a cost of approximately $38 million.
The facility now boasts new male and female bathrooms, a new guardhouse, three gazebos, installation of benches and chairs for patrons, and beautification of the grounds through the planting of trees.
Bartlett said he hopes that Jamaicans will make use of the facility. He said he hopes to see the property fully maintained and utilised as an entertainment zone to offer benefits to residents.
"That is why we have to spend so much on expanding our beaches - to make sure that there are adequate beach and recreational facilities for the Jamaican people as well as for the tourists," he noted.
"We realise that beaches are a great resource for tourism. The TEF has committed to transform one beach in every parish to a quality recreational space that operates at the highest and best international standards for a country such as ours, and these beaches must be available to residents and visitors alike," he noted.