Fri | Jul 23, 2021

TEF seeks input from residents to develop beach

Published:Thursday | July 22, 2021 | 12:11 AM

THE TOURISM Enhancement Fund (TEF) is seeking the input of residents in St Mary, through an online survey, to assist with the development of the Rio Nuevo Beach facility.

Rio Nuevo Beach is among 10 being developed across Jamaica by the TEF to include basic infrastructure, such as parking lots, road access, restrooms, and changing rooms.

Residents are being asked to visit the TEF website at tef.gov.jm to complete the survey.

Executive Director of the TEF Dr Carey Wallace says that putting the survey online is an attempt to reach more St Mary residents, even those in the diaspora,“who would want to have a say in exactly what is included in the beach development”.

“That way, we get the buy-in of the community, we get their participation, support and input. They have been the ones growing up with the beach and knowing what would enhance it most optimally,” he added.

The survey is being used to complement the stakeholder consultation meetings that are normally held when beaches are being developed by the TEF.

According to Dr Wallace, there has already been a consultation meeting with approximately 30 stakeholders; however, it was during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a restriction on the gathering limit.

“One of the things we do as we are developing the beaches is that we don’t just go in our offices in Kingston and come up with a plan and then go down and execute the plan. What we do is consult with all the stakeholders of that community, and in this case, all the St. Mary stakeholders – residents who have a vested interest in the way that the beach is developed and the facilities that they would like to see added in that development programme,” said Wallace.

He indicated that being actively involved “from the get-go” and having a working knowledge of the progress of the project, residents “could also, in their own private development, have programmes of putting in support businesses that could also benefit from this investment” being made by the TEF.

Wallace told residents not to be fearful but to know that the TEF is “enhancing the assets of the community to make them better off”.