Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the parish of Trelawny is moving to take its place as a key player in the tourism sector.
The parish has attracted some major hotel developments in recent years, and Mr. Bartlett said that in the pipeline are some 6,000 additional rooms along the corridor from Rio Bueno to Falmouth.
“The fact is that Trelawny can no longer be ignored. Trelawny is now forging with its transformation from a parish that has been dominated by agriculture, more so sugar cane, to what is now a very vibrant tourism sector,” the Tourism Minister beamed.
He was speaking at the official opening of the Excellence Oyster Bay Hotel in the parish on Thursday (October 18).
“The people of Trelawny now have every reason to smile, as this phase of the Oyster Bay resort development represents an investment of $110 million and which saw some 1,500 persons gainfully employed. Of course, the vast majority of them were Jamaicans, including contractors and subcontractors,” he noted.
“Trelawny is finally coming into its own and is poised for greatness. It already has some of the finest infrastructure to support the tourism product. These include the leading cruise port, rafting on the legendary Martha Brae River, cultural excursions into Maroon history, exploration of the Windsor Caves, the adventures of Chukka Caribbean at Good Hope, and so much more,” he pointed out.
He predicts that “in a few years, when you combine the inventory of Trelawny with that of Montego Bay, you are looking at two-thirds of the hotel room stock on the island”.
The Minister, in highlighting developments in the local tourism sector, said that the success did not happen overnight or by the waving of a magic wand but by “careful and strategic planning…effective marketing and promotion”.
“We have been working very closely with stakeholders and attracting the right investors,” he pointed out.
He said that the industry is stimulating wide-scale economic activity, fostering growth in communities, generating jobs and earning billions of dollars in foreign exchange.
“Tourism is already proving to be a powerful catalyst for improving the socio-economic conditions of our people,” he added.
Situated on the private peninsula of Oyster Bay, the resort offers an adult-only all-inclusive experience to high-end clientele.
It features 315 suites, inclusive of 800 square ft. junior suites and 2,000 square ft. upper suites with expansive living spaces, panoramic ocean views, and direct beach access.
Excellence Group Luxury Hotels specialises in hotel management and worldwide real estate development, with a primary presence in the Caribbean.
Photo: Garwin Davis