JIS News

Prime Minister P.J. Patterson has broken ground for a US$850 million project at Rose Hall in Montego Bay that will feature the construction of 1,000 new hotel rooms over a five-year period by the Spanish consortium Grupo Iberostar. The project involves the building of three new hotels, the first of which is scheduled for completion by December 2005.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony on Friday (Oct. 22) Mr. Patterson said the Master Plan for Tourism envisaged an increase in accommodation by approximately 1,2000 rooms, 3,000 of which are to be built in Montego Bay. He said the Government was therefore pleased with the interest expressed by Iberostar as the group had a proven track record for the quality of its products and services, maximum respect for the environment and a firm commitment to sustainable growth.
The Prime Minister said the construction of the new Iberostar Rose Hall Resort and Spa should enhance the facilities that Montego Bay had to offer to an increased number of vacationers and business travellers.
Mr. Patterson pointed out that an important element of the tourism development strategy was the preparation of a skilled workforce to take advantage of the employment opportunities that this and other projects would create.
He said the HEART Trust/NTA was playing a pivotal role in the preparation of over 16,000 workers to meet the manpower needs of the industry. The Prime Minister noted that enrolment at HEART, for the last fiscal year, stood at 42,000 students and the agency intended to eclipse the 60,000 mark during this year. “At this pace, HEART is targeting annual enrolment of over 100,000 Jamaicans by the beginning of 2008,” Mr. Patterson stated.
He said this approach was part of an integrated national development plan to transform the economy from a primary agricultural economy into a service economy.
The Iberostar Rose Hall Resort and Spa is a joint venture between Rose Hall Developments Ltd. and Grupo Iberostar. The company owns and operates hotels worldwide and has its own airline, tour operators and a chain of travel agencies.

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