US $7.2m be­ing in­vested to up­grade Appleton Rum Tour

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

MIN­IS­TER OF Tourism Ed­mund Bartlett has wel­comed as timely a US$7.2-mil­lion in­vest­ment that will make the long-estab­lished Appleton Es­tate Rum Tour the gate­way for tourism on Ja­maica’s South Coast.

Bartlett was among those in­volved in break­ing ground for the Appleton Es­tate Visi­tor’s Cen­tre which, on com­ple­tion, will be a show­piece sur­rounded by fields of su­gar cane and the home of Appleton, one of the world’s top rum brands.

He said he was par­tic­u­larly pleased that the project was be­ing un­der­taken in an area of Ja­maica where in­vest­ments of that mag­ni­tude have not been a com­mon fea­ture, and he saw it as “the be­gin­ning of a new chap­ter in em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for a large num­ber of peo­ple in the Siloah, Appleton and Mag­goty area”.

Appleton Es­tate is owned by J. Wray & Nephew, a sub­sidiary of Gruppo Cam­pari. J. Wray and Nephew Chair­man Cle­ment ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence noted that the up­grade will pro­vide “a unique visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence”. It will in­volve up­grad­ing of the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity and its ex­pan­sion by an­other 25,000 square feet by Oc­to­ber 2017.

The main build­ing will be the wel­come cen­tre with a theatre, lux­ury bar, five-star restau­rant and other ameni­ties which vis­i­tors can use be­fore the tour of the es­tate’s dis­tillery and its age­ing ware­houses, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the Min­istry of Tourism.

It added that it is highly an­tic­i­pated that the rail ser­vice, which ground to a halt many years ago, will be rolling again in 2017, or shortly there­after, and form an in­te­gral part of the plan to more than dou­ble the 50,000 vis­i­tors who cur­rently take the Appleton Rum Tour.

Bartlett lauded Wray and Nephew for “go­ing be­yond man­u­fac­tur­ing to ex­pand­ing the range of of­fer­ings that Ja­maica pro­vides as a des­ti­na­tion and help­ing to make us a much de­sired place that peo­ple want to visit”.


Not­ing that food and mu­sic will at­tract vis­i­tors, the min­is­ter said “you have a com­plete of­fer­ing here that will ex­cite ev­ery­one who wants to come to Ja­maica and within that frame, will en­cap­su­late all that a visi­tor needs when he gets into a des­ti­na­tion”.

With the in­clu­sion of a sta­teof-the-art restau­rant, Bartlett said “we see this as a bold state­ment that Ja­maica is about to make to the world as a cen­tre of gas­tron­omy”.

The min­istry noted that work is pro­gress­ing on the newly formed Gas­tron­omy Net­work to, among other things, cre­ate a gas­tron­omy map­ping plat­form with eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble in­for­ma­tion on the best food of­fer­ings is­land­wide, and foster the devel­op­ment of food tours across the coun­try, in­clud­ing el­e­ments of food prepa­ra­tion, and build­ing out fes­ti­vals as a prod­uct for gas­tron­omy tourism. The Appleton Rum Tour will be the cen­tre­piece of that gas­tron­omy ar­range­ment for the south coast.

Bartlett im­plored Appleton to aim for a level of in­crease in vis­i­tors to the at­trac­tion a be­yond its own pro­jec­tion, “be­cause we are grow­ing the in­dus­try at a rate that will en­able you to do that. Cruise is go­ing to grow ex­po­nen­tially and you must pre­pare your­self for the post-2017 ar­rival of the Appleton train again. And you must pre­pare your­self for the ex­pan­sion of the high­way within these ar­eas that is go­ing to cre­ate con­nec­tiv­ity in this Appleton area through Ac­com­pong and back into Mon­tego Bay”.


From left: Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of J. Wray & Nephew Jean-Philippe Beyer; Chair­man of J. Wray & Nephew Cle­ment ‘Jimmy’ Lawrence; global mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, rums, for Gruppo Cam­pari, Kath­leen Hall; Tourism Min­is­ter Ed­mund Bartlett and Mayor of Black River Ever­ton Fisher jointly break ground for the up­grade and ex­pan­sion of the Appleton Rum Tour re­cently.

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