Ground broken on $26 million Salem Beach upgrades
Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, joined other officials in St. Ann today, for a ground-breaking ceremony at Salem Beach. The beach is being upgraded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to the tune of $26 million, under their National Beach Development Program.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Bartlett stated that “there must be a guarantee that locals have access to and are able to enjoy their country’s natural resources, including the island’s best beaches…the upgrading of Salem Beach, will provide yet another premium recreational beach for the enjoyment of both our local and international visitors.”
The upgrades to the beach includes the construction of two gazebos; restrooms; a wash-off stand; parking facilities; landscaping works; upgrades to the sewage treatment system; and the demolition and alterations to existing structures.
Construction will be completed within the next four months, and the end-product will be a beach transformed into a quality recreational area with facilities and services that meet the best international standards.
“There is little doubt that this wonderful beach is one of Salem’s main attractions. By strengthening Salem Beach as a destination, we will help to improve the town’s tourism economy, diversify its offerings and thereby enhance its economic competitiveness,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Tourism Minister also noted that for the 2018/19 financial year, TEF will move forward with designs for an additional 12 beaches, with construction taking place in subsequent financial years.
In July of this year, the Tourism Ministry also opened the refurbished Marking Stone Beach in St. Mary, upgraded by TEF at a cost of $38.3 million. To date, the TEF has spent over $105 million on three other beaches in its Beach Development Program – Lyssons Beach in St. Thomas, to the tune of $49.6 million; Boston in Portland, at a cost of $27.8 million; and Burwood in Trelawny at approximately $28 million.
The Minister also disclosed that the TEF spent $35 million to rehabilitate the road and beautify the area leading to the popular Winnifred Beach in Portland.
The upgrades to Salem Beach in St. Ann was implemented by the Tourism Product Development Company and the property owners National Environment & Planning Agency (NEPA). The official opening ceremony will take place in the first quarter of 2019.