THE EDITOR, Sir:
The failure to follow through with the redevelopment of the city of Montego Bay is an issue that must be considered through today's eyes, ears and budgetary constraints. Government, whether local or national, may not have the resources to move forward and pursue the original objectives.
Affordable, quality housing with a focus on access to commercial and business concerns is primary. The prospect of future tax revenues alone is an insufficient incentive. A coordination of subsidised housing, infrastructure improvement and restoring the attractiveness of downtown Montego Bay to tourists from resorts and cruise ships, making the city a destination, instead of a stop related to an all-inclusive resort or vessel, should be the focus of any redevelopment plan.
It is still Montego Bay that attracts visitors and provides the first impression on investors. An ancillary coordinating feature would be the implementation of a small bed tax on the all-inclusive resorts, administered through a tourist development council working as an adviser to local government to pay for infrastructure improvements and sponsorship of entrepreneurial activities.
The lustre of Montego Bay needs more than just polish; it needs the help of the resorts that currently thrive because of their choice of geographic location.