Boosting Jamaica’s Tourism Through Shopping2 min read
Luxury shopping at it best can be found in Montego Bay at the billion-dollar Whitter Village which has helped to cement the resort town’s crown as Jamaica’s tourism mecca.
Montego Bay is not intent on being seen only as the tourism mecca but is securing its position as the ideal place to do business with the inclusion of the billion-dollar multifaceted shopping complex along the Rose Hall main road.
Known as Whitter Village, the construction cost US$40 million (or J$1.2 billion) and took just under two years to be completed. The brainchild of local developers Joe and Angella Whitter, the vision was to create the ideal convenience stop for business, shopping, food and entertainment. With the construction of the multi-million dollar convention centre in Montego Bay, this is a welcomed addition to assert the second city as a business hub according to the former president of Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lloyd B. Smith.
“Apart from being a facility that provides dining, entertainment and different types of shopping facilities, it will give Montego Bay an enhancement that it desperately needs at this time” Smith charged
He further commended the entrepreneurs for their vision and business aptitude in developing this project without the scandals that are normally associated to these mega constructions.
The architecture, which features a magnificent Village Square highlighted by a landmark Clock Tower, evokes the nostalgia and ambience of a traditional Jamaican village and was designed by one of one of Jamaica’s leading architects Clifton Yap. According to Yap “the trend in development around the world is to develop complete town centres, where people live, work and play. That’s what we hope to achieve in the long term”. He further argued that any local investor putting up that amount of investment shows commitment and foresight and they should be supported for that. “I can’t think of any local investor who would put up that kind of investment without assistance from the government.”
The Whitter Village Centre is the first phase of a comprehensive development plan for the 15 ½ acre site. The next phase will include the construction of offices and living space to create the ideal town-centre where people can work, shop and socialize within their communities.