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Port Royal - Next Big Tourist Attraction in Jamaica

Think of Port Royal and the images that would immediately strike the mind are of swashbuckling buccaneers drowned in rum, followed by those of the earth opening up in fury eating and spitting out mice and men. Port Royal is nothing less than a time capsule ensconced in the sea and the gems that lie in its waters.

Hollywood movies have immortalized Port Royal and now the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), the country's main restorative body for architectural treasures of historical importance, and the Ministry of Tourism are working to ensure Port Royalists and other Jamaicans have a role in the retelling of that dramatic part of island history.

As part of this mission, $72 million has been invested by the Tourism Enhancement Fund to restore the valuable gems in the one-time 'wickedest city'.

The project is in its first phase and included the restoration of significant sections of the Fort Charles armoury. An audiovisual theatre was also established at the Naval Hospital. The historic Giddy House was reinforced by the developers, the Engineers Arch rehabilitated, and lawns landscaped. The 284-year-old St Peter's Church, which is an important part of the Port Royal heritage site's list of attractions, has also been refurbished.

In his address Tuesday, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett stressed that residents could play a major role in the push for heritage tourism.

"Cultural and heritage tourism ... allows for the residents of the host communities to become owners and direct benefactors of the tourism product," said Bartlett.

Bartlett also said he envisioned a "tourism triangle of the future", comprising Port Royal, Port Henderson in nearby Portmore, and downtown Kingston.

Many visitors staying in Jamaica accommodation rentals on the North Coast take day trips to Kingston, using Mysilversands Transportation Services, primarily to visit the Bob Marley Museum there. It is easy to extend the trip to include a visit to Port Royal, where you can walk in the footsteps of Sir Henry Morgan, and others.

Jamaica Villas Happenings