Minister Grange told the people gathered for the Unveiling function at Port Morant that, “There is no reason why the myth should persist that St. Thomas is the forgotten parish. There is no good reason why St. Thomas should not be making its contribution in the cultural and creative industries by way of what it has to offer to the tourist and from its offering reap its just economic deserts.”
She said the government was pleased to unveil the third and final gateway sign, having unveiled gateway signs in Papine and Port Antonio last year.
The Minister said gateway signs are a strategic marketing move intended to lift the heritage profile of the communities in which the signs are located.
Miss Grange emphasised that recognised heritage sites get worldwide attention and that the status confirms the outstanding and exceptional features of a listed site with one the benefits being floods of extra tourists.
She reminded her audience that St. Thomas was culture-rich; the parish being the home of Kumina, the parish that boasts national heritage sites and monuments, such as the Morant Bay Courthouse and Fort, Morant Point Lighthouse, Stony Gut, Stokes Hall Great House, Fort Lindsay, Fort William, Orange Park Great House, Fort Lindsay, Forth William, Orange Park Great House and the Cunha Cunha Pass among others.
“Now more than ever you will need guidance with supporting infrastructure in how to deal with the increased numbers of tourists anticipated,” she said.
Minister Grange singled out Gastronomy as promising market, a popular area of the tourism market, “and we want to ensure that St. Thomas, with its own creative flair in food preparations will enjoy its share of the pie.”
In that regard, she said, the Ministry was inviting 20 young persons from St. Thomas to participate in a workshop to be run by Young Enterprise Scotland (Y.E.S), a registered charity with which the Ministry has established links.
“Y.E.S will also lend support to the workshop through Social Media assistance. These young Scottish entrepreneurs are working in the Culture and Creative Industries and utilizing social media in the promotion of their businesses,” Minister Grange said.