Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett yesterday lead in breaking ground at The Shoppes at Rose Hall, signaling the start of the development of Montego Bay’s most iconic shopping experience.
The in-bond shopping mall is undergoing a major transformation and will be rebranded into a new concept reflecting a “Linkages Centre of Excellence” that will showcase the best of Jamaica in various creative ways.
Minister Bartlett welcomed the concept being created to reimagine, repurpose and rebrand the mall, noting, “The new tourism paradigm calls for innovation and the development of concepts such as this to provide elements of authentic Jamaican experiences.”
Mr. Bartlett said, “Shopping is a huge part of the attraction that Jamaica has that is under-utilized, under positioned and under presented, and we think that the cultural values and the cultural assets of Jamaica exemplified in the products manufactured by our own people are at the level where they can be showcased effectively and have world responses.”
He noted, however, that there was an absence of the arena that would enable this level of merchandising and showcasing to provide the impact that it must have.
Jamaica’s tourism is being built on a linkages concept that embraces the pillars of Agriculture & Manufacturing, Gastronomy, Sports & Entertainment, Health & Wellness, Shopping and Knowledge. Minister Bartlett said he is particularly pleased that the centre being developed by the Chandiram family, “Will create an experience to include the best of Jamaican gastronomy, local entertainment, authentic made-in-Jamaica products that showcase the talent of local designers, health and wellness offerings, immortalize outstanding local and international leaders, such as Martin Luther King, who chose Montego Bay as his place of refuge and our first national hero, Marcus Garvey, and will also be knowledge based.”
Chief Executive Officer of Chandiram Limited, Anup Chandiram, said there was hope despite the setback caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, “there is a rainbow beyond the horizon and we will soon see this in Jamaica’s tourism industry.”
He said his company was creating a product designed to pull visitors out of their all-inclusive hotels. “We want to enhance their experience here in Jamaica so that when they go back home they go on Trip Advisor and speak highly of beautiful Jamaica.”
The new experience is being developed in phases with the first phase set for completion in time for the 2020/21 winter tourism arrivals. Completion is expected in 2021.