Tourism Minister Stresses Importance of Foreign Direct Investments


Minister of Tourism, Entertainment and Culture, Aloun Assamba has stressed that foreign direct investments were very critical to the development of Jamaica.
Addressing the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica Speaker’s Forum on the US$2-billion Harmony Cove Resort Development Project on the North Coast, held yesterday (May 16), at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, the Minister said the development was coming at a time when Brand Jamaica was very much at the forefront of the people’s minds and when the brand was recognized all over the world.
“We welcome and encourage new players and products that help to enhance Brand Jamaica as an overall tourism product and to up Jamaica’s profile as a good place to do business, especially in the hospitality sector,” Minister Assamba said.
She pointed out that Jamaica’s proximity to the North American mainland and English as the native language were gifts “from our creator that we have leveraged to attract more foreign direct investments.”
In terms of employment, the Minister pointed out that developments of this nature would significantly increase the number of persons employed to the tourism and hospitality sector, which currently stands at 127,000.
These kinds of developments, she informed, were supported by infrastructural development that have been taking place on the island, such as: arterial roads, water supply and electricity.
“When a resort like Harmony Cove comes into town, it supplies more social infrastructure, such as schools, clinics.those things that we need for our people to benefit from,” the Minister noted.
“I welcome this development as, from all indications, it is in keeping with lifestyle marketing that we are pursuing. Jamaica’s position is its diversity and completeness – the destination that supports all aspects of the visitor experience,” Mrs. Assamba highlighted.
Meanwhile, Christopher Anand, Managing Director of the Tavistock Group, the entity responsible for the development of the project, said that Jamaica was chosen as the location for the billion dollar project, because of the investment that has been made in the country over the last five to ten years.
“What struck me as amazing was the investment in the airport, the investment in the road infrastructure.it was the investment in the water supply, the investment in the cricket stadium,” the Managing Director outlined.
Located in Trelawny, Harmony Cove will unfold on approximately 2,200 acres. It is destined to become one of the leading luxury resort destinations in the Caribbean and when completed will collectively comprise several luxury resort hotels, with at least 2,000 rooms, world class spa and fitness centre, an array of luxury residences, multiple championship golf courses, an equestrian centre, water park, large scale marina with shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and a wide range of amenities celebrating the best of Jamaica’s culture and natural beauty.
Preliminary design work for the resort is already underway and ground is to be broken by 2009. Construction will take place over a five to ten year period.

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