THE EDITOR, Sir:
With the news that J$400m from the Tourism Enhancement Fund is to be spent improving the Ocho Rios cruise ship terminal, it seems ever more unlikely that community tourism will be supported by this (or other) administrations.
Papine is the gateway to the Blue Mountains (from Kingston and the west) and community tourism is one potential gateway to people-centred and inducing development. This newspaper, in recent months, has pointed to the need for urgent action to uplift Papine and its environs. All the more pity that Damion Crawford, member of Parliament for the Papine area and junior minister of tourism, seems unable to persuade his boss (Wykeham McNeill) to direct monies towards Papine.
This is not the first time I am drawing attention to this regrettable neglect - a large amount was spent earlier this year fixing sidewalks for tourists in Negril while Papine, with its many schoolchildren, was ignored. Thankfully, the NWA has recently come to the rescue of those children (and others) in Papine.
Will we ever support anything but mass sun, sea and sand tourism in Jamaica? Community tourism in the Blue Mountains would attract not just tourists, but also local visitors, many living in the Kingston area, many of whom have not ventured beyond Hope Gardens.
Please, MP Crawford, don't let us down in Papine.