Rocky Point Beach to Kick-Start St. Thomas Tourism Transformation

Development of the next tourism frontier

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, yesterday (April 10) met with key officials to advance discussions on the much-anticipated development of St. Thomas as the next tourism frontier. The move is in keeping with government’s commitment to transforming the eastern parish into one of the premier sustainable destinations in the world.

The meeting with St. Thomas Eastern Member of Parliament, Dr. Michelle Charles and other officials focused on the Rocky Point Beach, which is one of 14 beaches across the island that will be developed during this fiscal year as part of the Tourism Enhancement Fund’s (TEF) National Beach Development Program.

The TEF project aims to enhance public access to beaches to ensure their availability with all the necessary amenities and safety measures in place. Where applicable, each beach will receive at a minimum, changing and restroom facilities, perimeter fencing, parking, gazebos, bandstands, children’s play areas, seating, lighting, walkways, electricity, water and sewage treatment facilities.

Minister Bartlett emphasized that:

“St. Thomas is set to be transformed into a premier sustainable destination.”

“Where visitors and Jamaicans alike will increasingly enjoy the unique ecosystems and cultural heritage of this unique parish.”

For its part, the Ministry of Tourism has already devised a Tourism Destination Development and Management Plan for the parish, which will see approximately US$205 million being expended over the next decade “to unlock more than twice that amount in private investment.”

In addition to the Rocky Point Beach development in Jamaica, Mr. Bartlett said other projects on steam for this year included the establishment of way finding stations in Yallahs, rehabilitation of the road to Bath Fountain Hotel, as well as leveraging strategic partnerships to develop heritage sites such as Fort Rocky and the Morant Bay Monument. Concurrently, other arms of government are supporting this thrust by undertaking significant upgrades to the road and water pipeline networks.

In his Sectoral Presentation to Parliament last Tuesday, Minister Bartlett disclosed that “during Fiscal Year 2022/23, we will continue to engage a wide number of partners to accelerate the pace of development for the next few years, bringing a wide array of new opportunities to the people of the parish.”

He adds that “this initiative is projected to bring tremendous economic, infrastructure and investment benefits to the parish by 2030, including 4,170 new hotel rooms and 230,000 stopover visitors. Additionally, visitor expenditure of US$244 million is expected, creation of 13,000 direct and indirect jobs and US$508 million in private investments.”

The St. Thomas meeting was also attended by former Speaker of the House, Pearnel Charles.


Corporate Communications Division

Ministry of Tourism

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Kingsley Roberts

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Linda Hohnholz