Jamaica to Build New Convention Center

Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica will be the site of the new $51.67 million Montego Bay Convention Center, scheduled to open December 2008, and anticipated to be one of the most impressive and sought-after meeting facilities in the Caribbean.

Projected to cost US$51.67 million, the convention center is a joint venture between the Government of Jamaica and Ex-Im Bank of China, which will be the majority shareholder, financing US$45.4 million. The convention center will be built on 23 acres of land at Rose Hall and will provide approximately 215,278 square feet of rooms for meetings, exhibitions and other events.

Basil Smith, director of tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board declared that, “The construction of the convention center comes at an opportune time for Jamaica and will become the focal point of our Meetings, Conventions and Exhibitions product. Our plan is to share the true Jamaican experience, one that is filled with diversity, culture and adventure not only with the leisure travel market, but also with business travelers, corporations, incentive groups and meeting planners. This new convention center strengthens our appeal to these market segments and we look forward to welcoming new and returning groups for years to come.”

The facility truly enables Jamaica to court and cater to the large conventions market dominated by major corporations and associations, meeting their demands of size and format. These corporations and associations will now be able to host their event in Jamaica and take advantage of the country’s tax-deductible status for people traveling on business.

Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica, Chen Jinghau, said the convention center would, upon completion, become the hub for a wide range of functions in Jamaica, and serve as an economic development tool to attract conventions, trade shows and other gatherings from within and outside Jamaica to Montego Bay.

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