Bustling Montego Bay
The city of Montego Bay is growing at a rate that outpaces any other Caribbean city. The Ministry of Tourism invested $2.8 billion from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) over the last ten years and has now earmarked another $1.2 billion to be spent over the next four years for the physical enhancement and beautification of the resort town.
The Government will create partnerships with private sector interests to achieve this. “The private and public sectors together have combined to create a new-look experience that is going to define a new attraction and indeed a new presence of Montego Bay in the global tourism market,” stated the Tourism Minister, the Hon Edmund Bartlett.
Montego Bay is the most important tourism destination in the English speaking Caribbean and represents 35 per cent of Jamaica’s tourism product. With national targets of US $5 billion by 2021, Montego Bay should be in a position to deliver 20 per cent of that revenue amounting to 1 billion US dollars. “We’re going to be re-configuring the entire area from Dump Up Beach straight through to Dead End, which includes the Hip Strip” said Minister Bartlett. The area earmarked spans the coastline.
This opens up numerous opportunities for investment and job creation. Whether in infrastructure, tourism or support service industries, the Montego Bay economy is opening up and will offer new opportunities for investors, small business owners, entrepreneurs and job seekers alike. The development will open up real-estate space for boutique outlets, franchises and the plethora of support services that accompany a growing city.
The Government also introduced the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Act on August 1 of 2016 to replace the Free Zone Act established in Montego Bay in 1985. While still under development, this will offer vast improvements and incentives to manufacturers to occupy the zone and reside in surrounding areas.