MoBay the new frontier for growth –Dyer
Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) Chairman Godfrey Dyer says huge opportunities are on the horizon for Montego Bay as the new town centre bypass will create a gateway to new business prospects.
Work on the Montego Bay bypass – a 15-kilometre, four-lane carriageway from Ironshore on the eastern outskirts of the town to Bogue at the western end – is expected to commence in the latter part of the current fiscal year. Some $500 million has been allocated in the 2019-2020 Budget for the project, which is expected to open new lands for the expansion of the Second City.
“The growth that Montego Bay and, by extension, western Jamaica has been experiencing over the past few years is really just the tip of the iceberg because when the Montego Bay bypass is constructed – and that is coming soon – it is going to open up the perimeter of the city to phenomenal development,” Dyer said as he spoke at the media launch of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 18th Business Expo on Wednesday.
“I am sure that as men and women with vision, you can see the opportunities that are opening up for expansion for industry and commerce to complement tourism,” continued Dyer. “And I am not thinking of hotels only. We already have a lot of those along the coast, and more are lined up to come on stream over the next three to five years.”
While acknowledging that tourism is the main driver of the economy, Dyer said that there is need for supporting structures to keep the tourism product alive and vibrant.
Dyer said Montego Bay is poised to become the new frontier for development, something he said the Government has acknowledged and is working with the private sector to foster such growth.
“The Montego Bay of today is vastly different from what it was 25 years ago, and given the rapid rate of development taking place, it certainly will be considerably different 25 years from now,” said Dyer. “We have a Government that believes strongly in enabling growth through the private sector, and Montego Bay must be seen as the new frontier for economic development.”