KINGSTON, Jamaica: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, is pleased with the improvements made to the world renowned tourist attraction, Lover’s Leap, which is now open to the public.
“Shortly after taking office as Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, I met with stakeholders … and gave a commitment that Lover’s Leap would be reopened as quickly as possible,” he said, following a recent tour of the facility in the parish of St. Elizabeth.
It’s now the end of March, the commitment has been fulfilled and Lover’s Leap is now open to the general public.”
While the facility is now open to the public, the official reopening is still to come.
Lover’s Leap was closed 18 months ago after the previous operator, which leased the property from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), ended the lease arrangement. McNeill spoke of the facility’s importance to the small- and medium-sized properties located on the south coast, saying: “Many depend on it to help achieve their full offering for tourism. So reopening Lover’s Leap is important from that standpoint as well.”
He discussed the role of Lover’s Leap in providing employment for those living within the surrounding communities. He also pointed to the potential for the development of community tourism and sports and heritage tourism along the south coast, while emphasizing the importance of building a brand for the area and outlined some specific plans for the property. These include the possibility of a visitor’s information centre which would provide members of the community and visitors access to information about Lover’s Leap and other aspects of the island’s tourism attractions.
“The aim is not for it to be in competition with the other attractions but to lift up the entire area and facilitate the growth of tourism,” he said.
McNeill said the recent improvements represent a great first step towards having a fully functional attraction; however, additional refurbishing work still needs to be done to further develop the facility.
“What better romantic link could we create with the history of the property than to restore the wedding gazebo,” he said. “We want to roll out a plan to incorporate adjacent properties for development and examine the partnerships we can have, both in managing and investing in it to get more out of what is a signature attraction.”
He commended the work of TPDCo which enabled the facility to be ready for its reopening in just a few weeks. He also thanked Member of Parliament for South East St. Elizabeth, Richard Parchment, and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association for their work in advocating for the attraction to be reopened.