KINGSTON, Jamaica–Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has launched a special J $20 million (US $157,735) revolving loan facility to boost the compliance of small tourism properties, attractions and businesses on Jamaica’s eco-friendly south coast.
The initiative for community tourism enterprises in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth, forms part of the Ministry of Tourism’s National Community Tourism Policy and Strategy aimed at developing community tourism island-wide to diversify the island’s tourism product.
Minister Bartlett said it would serve as a pilot project for community tourism, adding that he hoped it could be replicated across the island.
The facility financed by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), serves as counterpart funding for the Compete Caribbean Initiative which has committed some US $627,000 to date, to develop community tourism in the area.
The loan scheme is being administered by Jamaica National Small Business Loans (JNSBL). Applicants will be able to access loans of up to J $2 million (US $15,773) at a highly subsidised interest rate of 3 per cent per annum for five years. Several small business operators present at the launch last week signed loan applications on the spot.
Minister Bartlett said the scheme would enable the enterprises in Treasure Beach to become compliant and more appealing, which he said is crucial to positioning the area as a unique destination offering a “rustic luxury experience which the rich and famous seek when they want to escape from the formal luxurious settings that are characteristic of some of the destinations that we know, where the link with nature is never broken but the quality of the creature comforts are still at the highest level.”
In anticipation of increased tourist traffic, roads in Treasure Beach are to be improved and consideration given to offering air travel to the south coast by upgrading the Lionel Densham Aerodrome. ~ Caribbean360 ~
Source: Daily Herald
Multi-million-$ tourism loan facility launched in Jamaica