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Mo Bay’s $100m tourism boost

Regional 25 Oct, 2022 Follow News

Harmony Beach Park is a huge Mo Bay attraction

Montego Bay is Jamaica’s tourism capital

Montego Bay, Jamaica’s tourism capital, is investing US$100 million into the construction of a multipurpose vacation and residential resort that will revitalise the north coast city.

Two home-grown Jamaicans have joined forces to champion the project in creating the Vista Montego Bay Complex on seven acres of land to build 432 suites overlooking Harmony Beach Park. Ground was broken on Friday owned by Claudette Crooks of MoneyMasters Real Estate Limited and Constantine Hinds of C&H Property Development Company. 

The project will generate 300 new jobs and be completed in four years. Phase one will be 30 units consisting of one- and two-bedroom suites, a loft unit and two 1,075 square feet penthouse units. Phases two, three, and four will include residential and commercial spaces.

The Vista will bring ultra-modern, luxurious living to Montego Bay and continue the revitalisation of the Montego Bay Hip Strip. It’s a precursor to the billions the Tourism Enhancement Fund plans to spend on redeveloping the boulevard.

Crooks and Hinds are being hailed by Jamaica’s tourism minister Edmund Bartlett as compatriots who have shown confidence in the recovery of the sector.  Bartlett said he is accustomed to announcing mega Foreign Direct Investment projects in an industry that is projected to generate US$4.2 billion at the end of Jamaica’s fiscal year.

He pointed out that the mix of villas, condos and hotel rooms, along with entertainment and commercial attractions that The Vista offers is the new formula for a thriving tourism network.

“Increasingly, we are seeing this mixed model. I saw it first in the south of London, just ahead of the pandemic when they did a transformation and created three storeys of residential, four storeys of hotel rooms, and then shopping, shopping, shopping all underneath,” said Bartlett. He added that the ROK Hotel in Kingston is the same concept.

“This is the model that is emerging, and it is to ensure that the income stream is not diluted. This is diversified and it enables for a stronger and more sustainable development for the area,” said Bartlett.

With The Vista, the country has now surpassed the original forecast of 8,000 new rooms in five years, besides Trelawny’s Harmony Cove, Planet Hollywood and two new resorts on the Elegant Corridor in Montego Bay.

Bartlett is, however, not satisfied and is looking for new investors. He claims Montego Bay is becoming the most critical tourism centre in the entire Americas.

He warned that the confidence that now exists in Jamaica’s tourism is being deeply undermined by criminal elements, noting that the US$100m investment will be meaningless if that is not tempered.

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