Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says that Salem Beach in St. Ann will be upgraded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) at a cost of $26 million.
Speaking at the ceremony to break ground, at the beach in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on October 17, Mr. Bartlett said the beach upgrade is being done under the TEF’s National Beach Development Programme, in collaboration with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).
“This will help to improve the town of Salem’s tourism economy, diversify its offerings and improve economic competitiveness in the area,” he said, adding that the Salem Beach will be transformed into a quality recreational area with facilities and services that will meet international standards.
Additionally, Mr. Bartlett said that fishermen who utilise Salem Beach will not be left out, as the Tourism Ministry plans to include them in the upgrade.
“We are looking at how to include fisherfolk in this development. We definitely cannot leave them out, as the upgrade must be inclusive,” the Minister added.
For his part, Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay and Chairman of the St. Ann Municipal Corporation, Michael Belnavis, said he is pleased that the Salem Beach is getting a facelift, and expressed gratitude to the Ministry.
The upgrade will include the demolition of some existing structures, the construction of restrooms, two gazebos, a wash-off stand and parking facilities. There will also be an upgrade of the sewerage treatment system.
The renovation is expected to be completed in February 2019.
Under the National Beach Development Programme, the TEF has, so far, spent more than $105 million to upgrade the Lyssons Beach in St. Thomas; the Boston Beach in Portland, and Burwood Beach in Trelawny.