JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Sandals Resorts International’s planned renovation of the Dragon Bay Hotel in Port Antonio, Portland, could serve to attract more visitors to the town and wider parish.
  • “I can safely say that Port Antonio will have a powerhouse resort under the Sandals brand and also one that will create meaningful employment,” he added.
  • Mr. Bartlett foresees the development spurring other business interests to invest in Port Antonio, and Portland in general.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Sandals Resorts International’s planned renovation of the Dragon Bay Hotel in Port Antonio, Portland, could serve to attract more visitors to the town and wider parish.

Speaking with JIS News following the recent announcement, Mr. Bartlett said he was elated about the potentially positive prospects which the development presents.

He noted that Sandals, which acquired the property several years ago, has been “waiting patiently” to undertake the development.

Mr. Bartlett anticipates that, based on the plans outlined, “Dragon Bay will be breathtaking”.

“I can safely say that Port Antonio will have a powerhouse resort under the Sandals brand and also one that will create meaningful employment,” he added.

Mr. Bartlett foresees the development spurring other business interests to invest in Port Antonio, and Portland in general.

“We want to use this (Dragon Bay development) as a means of saying to more local entrepreneurs – ‘let’s add the rooms because the experiences are being laid out’,” he added.

These experiences, Mr. Bartlett indicated, would be greatly facilitated and enhanced by the Ministry’s expansion of its tourism linkages networks into Portland.

“Those networks will bring more people here and provide more opportunities for Jamaicans to reap more benefits from tourism,” he added.

Sandals’ Chief Executive Officer, Adam Stewart, noted that the Dragon Bay development was the brainchild of his father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, who is also the resort chain’s founder and chairman.

“My father has taken a personal interest in this project and he has made it known that this will be the crown jewel in the chain,” he told JIS News.

The Sandals CEO also welcomed the Government’s proposed extension of the runway at the Ian Fleming International Airport, located in the neighbouring parish of St. Mary, which he said “coincides with our plans”.