SPEAKING NOTES – MR. LENWORTH TRACEY, DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER (URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION)
Allow me to add my welcome to the UDC-constructed Montego Bay convention centre and to Jamaica, for those persons visiting from overseas.
We are privileged to be sharing this occasion in a facility established on the highest principles of cultural unity through the funding and project implementation efforts of our chinese partners.
The doors of this beautiful pagoda inspired convention centre were opened on January 7, 2011. Subsequently, it has been the venue of choice for several events including the Caribbean marketplace which attracted thousands of delegates from all over the world. The response to the first world features of the facility was overwhelming. Other events include meetings for multinational group herbalife and the rotary club of Montego Bay. Several other exciting events are already booked but those will be announced at a later date.
We at the UDC are very confident that the convention centre will continue to grow from strength to strength as SMG, a united states-based international marketing company, is now managing the centre to ensure that it’s maximum potential is realized.
This is a historic move for SMG as this convention centre is the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean to be added to its portfolio, joining Puerto Rico, the only other facility from the region. SMG in addition to its high profile united states based operations, is also engaged in Europe, turkey, Canada, Mexico and Chile.
Please look around at this gorgeous facility, nothing you see here would have would have been possible without the strong bilateral synergy that currently exists between china and Jamaica.
Already we are seeing the convention centre playing an integral role in filling a very important gap in our island’s tourism offering. For years, Jamaica was missing out on the meetings and conventions market and as such the UDC with its enviable track record of making development happen when and where it was needed was given the task of creating this convention centre. This was executed through contractors, China National Complete Plant Import Export Corporation (COMPLANT).
Ladies and gentlemen, what you are looking at now is 14.1hectares (35 acres), of land at rose hall, the result of an exchange of lands between rose hall development company and the UDC, adjacent to the rose hall great house, home to the legendary Annie Palmer, white witch of rose hall. You will have the opportunity of viewing the facility a later this afternoon when you go on tour.
The UDC has been involved in Montego Bay since 1970, when it was designated a priority development area by the government. The UDC was asked to look at a redevelopment plan, directed towards easing the city’s traffic congestion, implementing a planned urban expansion programme and alleviating overcrowded housing conditions. In 1972, Montego Bay became a UDC designated area.
Today, the partnership continues as the corporation engages stakeholders in discussion on redevelopment plans for Montego Bay which includes the expansion of the current development boundaries.
A second phase of the centre for which conceptual designs are underway envisages varying improvements over the course of time to include additional parking facilities, multi-purpose hall, additional meeting rooms and service areas.
The convention centre was designed for our main stakeholders- the Jamaican people. The centre was designed to boost economic activty through increased expenditure by vistors and attendees on shopping, transportation, food consumption and visiting of adjacent attractions.
Please enjoy your tour of the facilities today and i know the team led by general manger dittie will want to welcome you here again and again.