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Dunn's River upgrade

Improvement works to be undertaken at popular attraction this FY

Monday, April 15, 2019

POPULAR tourist attraction Dunn's River Falls and Park is to be upgraded this financial year, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke recently announced.

The upgrade is to be undertaken by the St Ann Development Company Limited (SADCo) to enhance the overall sustainability of operations while meeting the needs of patrons.

A 2018 audit into operations at the St Ann-based attraction found major and long-term fraud-control failures, financial mismanagement, insufficient processes and gaps in information technology controls.

A report on the findings released by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) revealed that there was revenue leakage, estimated between $500,000 and $1 million annually, at the popular tourist attraction.

SADCo is expected to establish a new service court to include changing rooms, lockers and shops, and a VIP entrance, as well as redevelop the craft market at Dunn's River.

SADCo is also expected to collaborate with the UDC in order to improve Dunn's River's financial sustainability by pursuing the increased marketing of the managed facilities with a view to increasing revenues by 10 per cent annually.

Dr Clarke outlined this in the 2019/20 Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, tabled in the House recently.

Also, the organisation projects to realise a profit of $35.12 million, the document notes.

SADCo, an associated company of the UDC, was incorporated in 1967. The company partners with the UDC under a management contract to oversee the management of several properties/attractions in the tourism sector.

Its main activities are focused on the sustainable development of several properties, including Dunn's River Falls and Park, Green Grotto Caves, Turtle River Park, Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Roaring River, Laughing Waters and undeveloped lands in surrounding communities in St Ann.

In accordance with its mandate, SADCo is committed to the efficient management and orderly development of the UDC's assets in its portfolio.

The company seeks to achieve its strategic objectives by undertaking activities and projects that enhance revenues, contain operating expenses and improve service delivery.