Govt roughly halves cost of ‘Welcome to Mobay’ sign

The controversial Welcome to Montego Bay sign

The popular Welcome to Montego Bay sign and attraction has been completed at nearly half the cost to the Jamaican Government coming in at only $9.78 million.

Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett along with other tourism officials and several Montego Bay Business leaders held an official lighting event for the sign on the weekend.

“Last November, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett ordered an immediate and full review of the costs associated with the budgeted amount of $17 million for the new ‘Welcome to Montego Bay sign and attraction following some concerns about the cost. A month later, one of Jamaica’s leading Quantity Surveying firms, Davidson & Hanna operating in the island since 1971 gave a clean bill of health for the Tourism Product Development Company-led project bill of quantities. Davidson & Hanna reviewed the rates in the bill of quantities submitted by the Ministry of Tourism and compared them to market rates. They reported that most of the rates were found to be in order with some actually falling below market rates,” said Delano Seiveright, senior advisor and strategist in the Tourism Ministry.

Delano Seiveright at left.

“Minister Bartlett nonetheless ordered a reduction in costs and received support from the Montego Bay business community thereby bringing the cost to the government to $9.78 million, close to halving the budgeted $17 million,” Seiveright noted.

The new sign is already a significant attraction with locals and visitors alike, who frequently take photos and videos and share them across multiple social media platforms. The development also falls within the extension of the Eastern Gateway Project, which is a series of beautification works running west along the Elegant Corridor from Greenwood to Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport roundabout.

Several other cities around the world have major signage as prominent attractions, including Toronto, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.