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  • Another 1,600 new rooms are to be added to the country’s stock over the next 18 months, as the Government works to shore up room availability in anticipation of increased demand for accommodation.
  • The Minister said the Government has been working tirelessly to attract investment in the sector, noting that since 2012 there has been a steady flow of investment amounting to over $54 billion in the tourism product in Jamaica.
  • Dr. McNeill also lauded the Hendrickson group which, he said, continues to play a major role in the sector and Pan Caribbean, which will open its Courtyard Marriott in Kingston in another few months.

Another 1,600 new rooms are to be added to the country’s stock over the next 18 months, as the Government works to shore up room availability in anticipation of increased demand for accommodation.

Making the disclosure during his Sectoral presentation in Parliament today (April 14), Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, said this need for more rooms has become necessary due to the consistent increase in airlift out of key markets.

He told the House that land acquisition and planning are advanced for an additional 1,500 new rooms.

“These rooms will allow us to enjoy significant growth in our room stock and when they come on stream will result in Jamaica being able to experience another era of sustained success in our tourism sector,” he said.

The Tourism Minister also noted that this “surge of investments” will generate thousands of new jobs in the construction phase and when construction is complete “and will ensure growth in tourism, and growth in the economy for years to come.”

The Minister said the Government has been working tirelessly to attract investment in the sector, noting that since 2012 there has been a steady flow of investment amounting to over $54 billion in the tourism product in Jamaica.

Dr. McNeill noted that a number of new brands such as Sensatori, Melia, Royalton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Moon Palace that are now in Jamaica, have “brought a greater degree of diversity to the character of our destination and our tourism product.”

“I welcome the international exposure that comes from the worldwide marketing of these new brands,” he said.

The Minister said he is also particularly proud of the island’s indigenous investors “who have been the bedrock of our industry.”

“I must mention the Issa family, and Sagicor who have gone from one hotel four years ago to four now and, just last week, rebranded three of their properties under the new Hilton Curio brand,” he said.

Dr. McNeill also lauded the Hendrickson group which, he said, continues to play a major role in the sector and Pan Caribbean, which will open its Courtyard Marriott in Kingston in another few months.

“I also commend the Sandals chain – our largest brand – which has invested significantly in Jamaica over the last four years. The strength of their brand and marketing across the world has had a considerable and positive impact on Brand Jamaica,” he said.