Charlesworth Phillip has been engaged to push several tourism infrastructure projects which are in jeopardy of losing funding if works do not begin soon.
The Tourism Division within the Office of the Premier has several projects in the works, several of which are being funded through the European Development Fund EDF11. Montserrat signed off in February 2018 on EDF11 agreement to receive 18.4 million Euros (EC$ 54+mln) for projects including renewable energy, the port project and tourism.
An allocation of EC$6.5 million was designated for tourism improvement initiatives, including the tourism strategy which was approved in 2019.
Phillip will be providing technical support for the Tourism Division to deal with a myriad of issues related to pending projects. He told Discover Montserrat some targets must be achieved by March 31, 2020 or funds will be lost.
Pending tourism projects based on a presentation from the division in 2019 are:
- Expand and diversify the tourism product – eight hiking trails to be cleaned, signage and safety features improved and/or added between July 2019 to January 2020. Three viewing sites are to be cleaned and binoculars added.
- Industry training and capacity building – customer service, housekeeping, tour development, social media, presentation and packaging – May 2019 to January 2020
- Improvements of directional signage – July 2019 to October 2019
- Develop visitor attractions and amenities
- Volcano Interpretation Centre – July 2019 to October 2020
- Develop destination website and enhance social media management – June 2019 to Oct 2019
- Beach improvement – July 2019 to December 2019
- Installation of showers, changing rooms lighting – Isles Bay, Old Road Bay, Lime Kiln, Woodlands Beach, Bunkum Bay (Little Bay and Carr’s Bay will be done in second phase to avoid disruption of port project)
The division was to also run an awareness campaign from September 2019 to March 2020 on protecting and enhancing the island’s natural environment.
Phillip, who ran on the MCAP ticket in the 2019 elections, was the former manager of the government’s Land Development Authority and previously worked as the Senior Project Manager of Infrastructure for the Montserrat Development Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Management and Development from Oxford Brookes University, UK.
He will oversee the management and implementation of infrastructure works that the division has already awarded contracts for. These include trail improvements, beach maintenance, management of Marine Village and staff. He also aims to fast track improving the beaches and facilities and the construction of new ones.
Phillip, who has a three-month contract to push the works, said tourism is the one area of government where there are currently funds to generate some meaningful activity and get money circulating in the local economy and he looks forward to seeing things progress.