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Jamaica's treasures not fully exploited, says McNeill

Published:Monday | March 5, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Dr Wykeham McNeill, the minister and tourism and entertainment, has encouraged investors to tap into Jamaica's rich tourism resources.

McNeill, who was speaking during the 'Invest in Tourism Round Table' session, held as part of the Jamaica Investment Forum 2012 held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre last Friday, identified health, community, entertainment, cultural and sports as being ripe with potential.

"Jamaica is ripe for investment and our industry has continued to grow despite the global economic crisis. I encourage investors to come on board and invest in the tourism sector here in Jamaica and we look forward to forging very strong and lucrative partnerships in the future," McNeill said,

Highlighting the potential of health tourism, McNeill said, "We have great opportunities in this area, including the refurbishing of two of Jamaica's most famous spas, the Milk River Hotel and Spa in Clarendon and the Bath Fountain Hotel and Spa in St Thomas.

"However, these and other health-related facilities present ongoing opportunities for real transformation into major attractions in the international health tourism market as well as the area of offshore health care."

Opportunities to invest

Turning to entertainment, cultural tourism and sports tourism, McNeill added that "the strength of our cultural output in music, dance, cuisine, literary and other art forms, as well as our record-shattering sporting performances have not, by any means, been fully explored or exploited. The fact that the ministry is now responsible for tourism and entertainment shows the commitment of the government to leveraging these synergies".

The minister said, "Aggressive use of the obvious link between tourism, entertainment and sports opens investment opportunities for entertainment complexes, recreational facilities and cultural venues that are unique to Jamaica."