(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
When the first note is struck at the week-long Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest July 17-23 in Montego Bay, Jamaica, $310 million will be injected into the Jamaican economy, according to Summerfest Productions Chairman Robert Russell. The festival is slated to attract 5,000 tourists, each of which, Russell says, will most likely spend a conservative US$1,000 each. "If you average an expenditure of US$1,000 per visitor for airline tickets, hotel rooms and food," said Russell, "then you get a total of US$5 million."
At a rate of 62-1 that figure would translate to J$310 million. Business owners in the resort towns of Negril, Ocho Rios and everywhere in between will also benefit as the North Coast highway development will make access to Montego Bay from these areas less combustible than in former years. "It is a significant injection into the economy of Montego Bay and Jamaica," Russell said, "People will be staying in Negril and Ocho Rios."
"The highway development means because Negril is 45 minutes away, and the time it takes from Ocho Rios is significantly lessened with the near completion of that highway," added Russell. "Vendors, taxi operators, restaurants, night clubs, car rental agencies and hotels are some of the many businesses which stand to benefit from an increase in sales during the week the reggae festival will attract thousands to the island's shores. Everybody benefits."
Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest is known as the world's premier reggae festival and this year the festival is expected to cost Summerfest Productions more than $60 million in artiste fees, accommodation, advertising, promotions, and security costs in addition to the rental of various venues.
This year's festival will be held around the central theme of peace, and according to Russell, the organizers are placing a significant emphasis on the promotion of a non-violent concert environment.
Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest is sponsored by: the title sponsor Red Stripe; platinum sponsors the Jamaica Tourist Board, b Mobile and Air Jamaica; gold sponsors Wata, Bigga, Ocean Spray, Half Moon, Holiday Inn, Wyndham Rose Hall; media sponsors CVM Communications Group (CVM TV, Hot 102), RJR, FAME, Radio 92, IRIE FM, BET Jazz and RealVibes.net; and associate sponsors Comtech, Courts, Pay Pak and Continental Airlines. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen