Rose Hall, Montego Bay
will be the site of the Montego Bay Convention Center, scheduled to
open in December 2008.
The center is a joint venture between
the government of Jamaica and Ex-Im Bank of China, which will be
the majority shareholder, financing $45.4 million of the total
$51.7 million cost.
Basil Smith, director of tourism for the
Jamaica Tourist Board, said that construction of the center "comes
at an opportune time for Jamaica and will become the focal point of
our meeting, conventions and exhibitions product."
The center will be built on 23 acres of
land at Rose Hall and will offer more than 215,000 square feet of
The most recent, and largest, convention
center to open in the Caribbean was the Puerto Rico Convention
Center in November 2005. In its first year of operation, the center
hosted about 15 major groups, including the annual Caribbean Hotel
Association Marketplace in January.
At least 33 groups already are on the
books through 2011, which will result in an economic impact to
Puerto Rico of well over $24 million. Those groups include the
Caribbean Tourism Organization, which will host its annual
Caribbean Tourism Conference Oct. 19 to 24.
To contact reporter
Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].