THE Jamaica Government spent $34 million on the 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, which was held in Montego Bay from June 16-19.
Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Senator A J Nicholson, made the disclosure in answers to questions which had been tabled by Opposition spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Christopher Tufton, in the Senate on Friday.
According to Senator Nicholson, the Government contributed $25 million of the cost, including $10 million from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, which Nicholson heads, and $15 million contributed by other ministries.
Private sponsors contributed $8.3 milion, including: $2.1 million each from the Jamaica National and Victoria Mutual building societies; $2 million from GraceKennedy; $1 million from J Wray & Nephew Limited; $532,000 from Sagicor; and $465,000 from LIME.
Revenues totaled $8.3 million, including $3 million from private exhibitors, however, while registration totalled $4.5 million, some $1.2 million of that amount is still uncollected.
A breakdown of expenditure provided by Senator Nicholson showed that $11.5 million was spent on the facility, the Montego Bay Convention Centre, and close to $6 million on hotel accommodation.
Nicholson disclosed that 424 overseas delegates attended the conference. He said that 63 were prospective investors. He also revealed other categories of special-interest stakeholders included 340 exhibitors, 214 local delegates, 61 local moderators and panellists and 45 local manufacturers.
Senator Nicholson said that although the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, was not at the conference, his message to the conference was read by the Opposition's spokesman on tourism, Edmund Bartlett.