(Jamaica Star) The world renowned Dunn’s River Falls and theme park in Ocho Rios, St Ann, has been recording an uptick in patronage since being reopened to the public on July 21, following a four-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular 28-acre facility got the go-ahead from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) on July 17 to resume daily operations, after the management was deemed to have satisfactorily instituted the requisite COVID-19 protocols and safeguards.
Michelle Sawyers, park manager, says the growing level of patronage seen since the reopening is indicative of the facility’s status and the high regard in which it is held as the Caribbean’s premier resort attraction.
The operators of Dunn’s River Falls and theme park in Ocho Rios, St Ann, are reporting a growing level of patronage since the reopening of the facility on July 21.
“Even while we were closed back in March, we had to have some of our workers here on location to keep the park in a state of readiness, knowing that at some point we would be called on to reopen. It was a lot of work … and for that I must commend the team here at Dunn’s River; it was a total team effort,” she said.
Sawyers said that patrons must wear masks and do a temperature check on entering the property. She said while guests are not required to wear masks when climbing the falls, they are encouraged to carry one in a pouch which they must put on after completing the trek.
She anticipates a gradual increase in the facility’s patronage over time, noting its unique distinction of being a haven for both local and overseas visitors. “This is even more the reason why we have to follow protocols and ensure that we keep our staff and visitors safe,” Sawyers said.
Delano Seiveright, senior strategist and adviser in the Minister of Tourism, says the ministry is proud of the seamless resumption of Dunn’s River Falls’ operations. “This is why we have been paying so much attention to the health and safety protocols, having TPDCo doing round-the-clock inspections to ensure that persons and entities are being [compliant],” Seiveright said.
While acknowledging that the industry is still “some ways off” from returning to full normality, he emphasises the importance of getting activities to this end under way, “and[positioning] ourselves with the mindset that there are indeed greater things to come”.
“The Ministry of Tourism is fully confident that if we get the health and safety guidelines right, where we are known as a safe destination, then everything else will fall in place,” Seiveright adds.