Sun | Aug 19, 2018

Jamaica’s largest public beach development programme on track

Published:Thursday | July 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said that the ministry, its agencies and partners in the public sector are engaged in the country's largest public-access beach-development programme in history.

"As many as 10 beaches are being targeted across the island for development into absolutely first -lass public beaches. Parishes for which these beaches are located include Hanover, St James, St Ann, St Mary, Portland and St Elizabeth. These beaches will be equipped with modern amenities to improve the swimming and recreational experience for all. They will be managed by local government bodies, who may charge a small fee to ensure that the quality of the beaches is maintained," said Bartlett.

The minister noted that the beaches were selected based on discussions with the technical team from the Beaches and Coastal Resources Conservation Committee, which includes representatives of the Tourism Product Development Company, National Environment and Planning Agency, Ministry of Tourism, and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

The committee also includes relevant representatives from the ministries of: local government and community development; economic growth and job creation; and industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries.

"Perhaps the most transformational project will be the Closed Harbour Beach in St James - which is expected to start by the end of this year. Once completed, it will include a jogging track, stage, and vending area. We are not rushing as we want to avoid mistakes. nonetheless, we are heading in the right direction," explained the minister.

The overall aim of the beaches programme is to provide quality beach recreational facilities for public access and enjoyment.