Thu | Jan 20, 2022

Will Port Royal be another embarrassment?

Published:Saturday | April 27, 2019 | 12:00 AM


It is now approximately nine months before the arrival of the first cruise ships in Port Royal in January 2020 and we have still not seen or heard what improvements are being made in Port Royal to receive guests. The Port Authority of Jamaica, months ago, made it clear that they are installing a Floating Cruise Pier; however, the improvements to the town of Port Royal are under the purview of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), and to date we have heard nothing about the plans for the wider town of Port Royal.

Despite several attempts over the past three years, the UDC has refused to organise a meeting of the directors or shareholders of the Port Royal Development Company, which was established as a public-private partnership to develop Port Royal, and there have been no details revealed about what is being done to improve the sewerage, water, drainage, housing, garbage disposal or basic infrastructure of Port Royal or the improvements to the offering of attractions, restaurants, shops, sidewalk cafes and bars, nor has there been any training and development of the people of Port Royal in preparation for the people to receive guests.

We made the same errors in Port Antonio and Falmouth before and we seem destined to repeat the failures of the past again.

Why have the private sector and community representatives been sidelined in developing the plans for Port Royal, and is the Government of Jamaica really serious when it speaks of encouraging public-private partnerships?

Will the cruise lines and their guests be happy when they arrive in Port Royal, expecting to enjoy the ‘Port Royal experience’, only to be put on buses to Kingston and Ocho Rios?

The silence of the UDC is deafening.