The world famous Dunn’s River Falls and Park in St. Ann, Jamaica has won the coveted title of leading Caribbean Tourist Excursion as part of the World Travel Awards ceremony presented on November 8 in London, England.
Laura Heron, general manager of the St. Ann Development Company, the subsidiary company which operates the facility on behalf of owners, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), is excited about the latest award which seals the reputation of the Falls on the international scene. ‘Dunn’s River has evolved over the years as a total family experience where you can come for fun, adventure, picnics and relaxation in a tropical setting, so it is most fitting that in a time of global recession in the travel market that our Jamaican product shines so brightly, she says.
The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize excellence in the world's travel and tourism industry. Now celebrating its 16th Anniversary, the awards are regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could ever hope to receive. Thousands of votes are cast by travel professionals from 183,000 travel agencies, tour and transport companies and tourism organizations in over 160 countries across the globe.
Just a stone’s throw from the tourism Mecca of Ocho Rios, Dunn’s River Falls is believed to be the site of the battle of “Las Chorreras”, Spanish for Waterfalls, fought in 1657 between the British and the Spanish for possession of Jamaica.
Since 1998, the UDC has been engaged in major upgrading of the property valued in excess of $J300M with a view to ensuring parity with other world class attractions and enriching the Dunn’s River experience. Improvements have included the creation of a central garden and picnic areas, construction of ticket office and entry courtyard, bus and car park, administrative office, staff and nurse’s facilities. A jetty and ticketing office was also constructed to facilitate arrivals by boat. Infrastructure upgrades including water, electrical and telephone distribution systems have also been carried out.
Dunn’s River Falls and Park, Jamaica’s leading attraction has maintained its tradition of excellence and was voted by cruise officials as being the most popular and exciting in the Caribbean in 2004. The attraction saw in excess of 850, 000 visitors in the financial year 2007 to 2008. The current local rates for Dunn’s River are J$300 for visitors under 12 years old and J$600 for persons over 12 years, while the overseas rates are at US$12 and $15 respectively.
SADCO and the UDC remain committed to providing world class recreational facilities at rates affordable to all its visitors at Dunn’s River Falls, which will also be an integral part of the UDC’s major re-development plans for the greater Ocho Rios area..