Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia “Babsy” Grange has added a location at the north side of Negril, reportedly with the capacity to accommodate large international music festivals, to the Government of Jamaica’s list of entertainment zones to be created across the island.
The Minister made the announcement during the Negril Entertainment Association’s, (NEA) Conference, following the presentation of a proposal, site plan and architectural designs, by NEA President Ryan Morrison.
Morrison had explained that the selection of the venue was done in tandem with the influential Negril Chamber of Commerce and the Negril Chapter of the Jamaican Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), following recommendations accommodated by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett that the NEA pinpoint an appropriate government-owned location.
Grange, in turn, expressed that she was happy that the longstanding issue of the “right property in the right location to build out an entertainment zone” had finally been resolved.
“And as you know we are responsible for building out entertainment zones and that has been part of the conversation here in Negril… But our work is done for us. So what we have to do now is look at your recommendation,” she said.
Days before the conference, Morrison had bemoaned the fact that because there was no entertainment venue in Negril large enough to keep international music festivals akin to Reggae Sumfest and Rebel Salute outside of the winter tourist season, the resort town was unable to realize the full potential of using music to attract a larger number of visitors to the destination.
He had said that entertainment, once used right, could be useful in tourism’s off-season since Negril typically sees a robust number of visitors only between December to March.