Chukka Caribbean Adventures said it has invested over US$500,000 or almost $80 million to carry out significant upgrades and renovations at its Good Hope property in Trelawny, ahead of what many tourism operators are anticipating to be a busy summer season.
The 2000-acre property, which was reopened early this month, underwent a US$250,000 upgrade along with the installation of new infrastructure.
“Summer is here and Good Hope is now open. We’ve changed the product offering where it’s now all about nature, relaxation and is a real eco-adventure park,” said Marc Melville, chief executive officer (CEO) of Chukka Caribbean, during a recent interview with the Jamaica Observer.
“We spent US$150,000 on some riverside cabanas and another US$130,000 on a bridge running across the Martha Brae river at our Good Hope property, so overall we have gone over half a million to facilitate these projects, including some new additions stemming from our latest partnership with Appleton Rum,” Melville told the Business Observer.
“…[As] the summer tourist season officially begins, a reopening of its properties in Belize, the Dominican Republic and Barbados was undertaken last week in order to capitalise on pent-up demands”
Under the recent deal with Appleton, the facility is to benefit from the introduction of a new tasting room, a themed-style marketplace gift shop, an Appleton rum museum, along with five riverside cabanas retrofitted with butler service.
Melville noted that as the summer tourist season officially begins, a reopening of its properties in Belize, the Dominican Republic and Barbados was undertaken last week in order to capitalise on pent-up demands.
He further cited the US$2-million Sandy Bay Hanover nature adventure park opened late last year as one of the properties driving significant growth for the company.
“There has been an increase in appetite where people are getting out to experience the country and spend money and we’re seeing this in the participation levels where capture rates have gone up,” he said.
The business, which suffered significant falls in revenues after some 16 months of little to no activity as a result of the pandemic, the CEO said, was steadily progressing towards pre-COVID levels. He said that some major information technology system upgrades done during the down period have also started to pay off, allowing for greater efficiencies across the company’s operations and driving optimism in its future outlook.
“By the end of 2022, we should be very comfortable in profitability as we believe that’s when full recovery will begin. We are not yet out the woods but by the last quarter of this year, we feel very optimistic that we’ll be seeing levels of sales very close to that of 2019 per month,” the CEO said in his outlook, noting also that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year with the Supreme Ventures Group (SVG) was still in the works despite being slowed by the pandemic.
Through this partnership, Chukka’s clients will participate in tours at Caymanas Park — Jamaica’s horse racing centre, operated by Supreme Ventures Racing Limited (SVRL), a subsidiary of SVG.