Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the Rio Nuevo Village attraction in St. Mary is making a major contribution to heritage tourism in Jamaica and efforts to grow visitor arrivals.
“Heritage tourism contributes to the growth of community economies, creates new jobs and strengthens local identity while increasing the competitiveness of the destination,” he noted.
“As we expand our experiential offerings, we will, in turn, increase Jamaica’s overall appeal and demand. This diversity is important as we seek to attract five million visitors and generate US$5 billion in tourism by 2021,” he added.
Minister Bartlett was speaking at the official launch of rafting and kayaking at Rio Nuevo Village on Wednesday (July 25).
The 30-acre village is located at the site of the historic battle between Great Britain and Spain for Jamaica in 1655. There is a Taino museum on the property, and the grounds are a nesting site for local and migratory birds.
With the expansion, recreational activities now include not only tours of the property and nature walks but bar service and entertainment as well.
“We welcome attractions like Rio Nuevo Village, which expands our offerings and enhances the overall tourism product,” said Mr. Bartlett.
“This 30-acre multidimensional attraction is a historic site that was home to one of the biggest Taino settlements in St. Mary and houses a museum that has one of the most comprehensive collections of authentic Taino artefacts in Jamaica,” he noted.
“Visitors increasingly seek out heritage attractions like Rio Nuevo Village in their quest for more authentic and engaging Jamaican experiences,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett commended operator of Rio Nuevo Village, David Wilson, who invested more than US$2 million to develop the attraction, which has been in operation for some seven years.
Photo: Rudranath Fraser