The Ministry of Transport and Works was highly commended by this island???s Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy, for speedily completing the concrete boardwalk at the entrance to St. Lawrence Gap.

He publicly commended the ministry???s team today following a site visit and media briefing on the $80,000 boardwalk.??The work, which was a collaborative effort between the Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. and the Ministry of Transport and Works, involved the removal of dangerous timber planks that were in a state of disrepair, and the construction of a concrete boardwalk.

Mr. Sealy described the popular liming strip as the ???heart of south coast tourism,??? and alluded to further upgrades at the other end of St. Lawrence Gap that would see a transformation of the Dover Market.

He said the project was completed in approximately two months and under budget. ???We are very happy to hear that. We, initially anticipated that it would have cost us in the vicinity of $100,000, but it was close to $80,000 that was spent. So, that is good news [that is] sensitive to the realities. The project at Dover will be a little larger, but we are also hoping that the same effective way that the team has addressed the boardwalk, they will address the Dover project as well,??? he underlined.

The Tourism Minister also praised the private sector partners for assisting government in its revival of The Gap. He disclosed that the principals of the Boatyard had established an ???interesting sidewalk caf?? that was growing in popularity???.

Mr. Sealy added: ???Caf?? Sol has moved and is now behind us???The principals of Pisces restaurant are in the middle of a complete refurbishment and it will now have a modern facility adjacent to this boardwalk. The Reggae Lounge has been completely refurbished and is now offering a restaurant and a small boutique hotel property offering accommodation. Next door, what was the Ship Inn, is now Suga.

“So, we have seen the private sector respond in a very meaningful way.???

In the hotel sector, The Tourism Minister revealed that Time Out in the Gap, which was effectively run by the private sector, was seeing improved occupancy levels. He also alluded to the US $65 million to be spent by Sandals Resorts on refurbishment between now and the end of the year.

???That again shows investment in The Gap, not only by the public sector, but the private sector???Not only by the domestic private sector, but foreign domestic investment as well and this augurs well for where tourism is going and to make sure that we keep the amenities up to scratch.???

Mr. Sealy also said improved lighting and more closed-circuit television cameras were ???on the cards???. He acknowledged that Barbados was a low-crime destination and the cameras would assist police officers to speedily solve crimes that occurred in the area.??The minister said an enhanced St. Lawrence Gap was critical to keeping tourism on a path of recovery and to ???set the base for future growth???.

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