A new US$700m highway has opened in Jamaica, the North-South link of Highway 2000, which will dramatically reduce travel times between the north and south coasts.
Travel time from Kingston to the north coast town of Ocho Rios, which is very popular with tourists, will be approximately 30 minutes shorter.
Likewise, it means that visitors to Jamaica have more options in terms of which airport they use.
For example, visitors staying in Ocho Rios now have the option of landing in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport, or Kingston’s Norman Manley International airport, and having the same travel time to their resorts.
Cruise ship passengers arriving in the Ocho Rios port will also be able to easily schedule visits to the historical and cultural sights of Spanish Town and Kingston, and return with ample time for their ship’s departure.
The new North-South link of Highway 2000 is also expected to drive additional tourism developments.
Plans are already in place for the construction of three hotels with nearly 2,400 rooms in the Mammee Bay area, as well as nearly 600 housing units along the highway corridor.
The highway was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company and is a four-to-six lane, 66-kilometre motorway.
Jamaica director of tourism, Paul Pennicook, said: “The newly opened North-South Highway will open up significant development opportunities and make Kingston more accessible from our major tourist regions.
“Not only will these developments increase tourism, but will directly benefit the local people and generate new jobs, especially for Jamaica’s next generation of up and coming tourism professionals.”