Once you go, you know is the tagline for the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica. The idea being that you need to come to the island and see what we are talking about…this beauty and splendor. In fact the idea is don’t just take our word for it, once you go, you know. So it was that some time ago a group of young persons and I went on a small vessel to the Goat Islands.
The most surprising thing was the sheer size of the island mass- both of them. As a developer I would be most interested in that space if for nothing else but for the opportunity it would afford me to design and construct a project to specifications of my heart’s desire. It is reported that at least 3,000 acres of land is needed to build the purported logistics hub/ transshipment port.
The almost three hours at sea was enlightening as we were able to evidence the varying aspects of this marine ecosystem. It is clear that the area has several opportunities. The potential exists for a myriad of development options. The value is both direct, for example, with the preliminary estimates of the mega investment for the port being between US$1.2 billion and US$1.5 billion and indirect as in its perceived benefits to the future generations. The latter may very well be more monetarily but will take a longer period to realize.
However, one thing is clear; the location is beautiful as all natural, uninhabited spaces are- oh the age old environment vs. development conundrum. However, it is interesting to see the innovative development in Dubai and Singapore to name a few places with similar environmental aesthetics. It can be noted that development is not the monster therefore rather it is those we entrust with the scared task of enabling development who need to weigh all the information and make the decision that is the best fit …once you go, you know.