Jamaica News: Ridicule and skepticism, is what Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has been receiving in Social media responses from Hanoverians, after he made his third announcement in 11 years, claiming that he has fabulous plans for the development of Lucea, plans which the people say, have never materialized into anything.
Mr. Bartlett’s third announcement in relation to Lucea, came on Saturday during the 57th Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) at the Hilton Hotel in Rose Hall. According to the Minister this time, Lucea is the next area for reimaging and he has been having discussions with cruise lines about the parish capital who are “excited about the port”. He also mentioned developing Fort Charlotte.
But the Social media responses to his announcements were caustic as Hanoverians at home and abroad, unhappy with how their parish has been treated by both political administrations vented. Over on one Hanover-related Facebook group, one resident, a lady from Eastern Hanover demanded to see the proposed agenda for the implementation of the Minister’s plan.
“When? Share the calendar of events now, Mr. Bartlett!” she posted.
“He (Bartlett) doesn’t have one (plan). They don’t plan for long haul…If Fort Charlotte had a shilling for every time it appeared in a government or similar publicity photograph, I would marry it,” one man from Western Hanover quipped in response to that comment.
There was no letting up on the Minister, as on another Lucea Facebook page, more residents of the town threw cold water on what they descried as Mr. Bartlett’s empty promises.
“Oh please. Mi haffi si dem start the work first…kmt. Tired fi di promises,” one woman wrote.
Minister Bartlett first started making unfulfilled promises about developing Lucea in 2018, ahead of the opening of the Grand Palladium hotel in at Point Estate. At the time he told the media that a resort development plan for the coastal town was of extreme importance and that he would be giving the town resort destination status of its own.
In May this year, three years after returning to office, and without visiting the town to consult with Hanoverians, Mr. Bartlett was at it again, claiming that he and Prime Minister Andrew Holness have had what he said were “long discussions” about Lucea and in “short order would be visiting the town in relation to some ideas about building a stronger experience there in light of the construction of a new bypass whih wuld take vehiecular traffic from the town.
According to the Minister focus would be placed on the rehabilitation of historic sites including Fort Charlotte and establishing new attractions.
Hanoverians registered their seriousness about being left at the cow’s tail, when on May 27, Lucea homeboy Paris Taylor penned a strongly-worded letter to the editor of one of the national daily newspapers, blasting Mr. Bartlett for taking the people of Hanover for a ride.
“There is no logic in the suggestion by Minister Bartlett that the bypass will develop the tourism sector in the town,” Mr. Taylor declared. “If visitors are allowed to pass by the town, how will that create more tourism prospects for us? It makes no sense.”
“That is sheer garbage to me. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that the Minister is trying cheeky tactics to circumvent protests from the people,” he said.