JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the aim for an annual five per cent growth is well on track, following confirmation by Karisma Hotels and Resorts that the groundbreaking for its US$900-million mega hotel development project will commence in January 2017.
  • The Minister noted that Karisma plans to build 10 hotels over 10 years, with a total of 5,000 rooms, adding that the Llandovery, St. Ann-based development is the first such project under the Government’s ‘Shovel Ready’ programme, led by the Ministry of Tourism.
  • The Minister said new investments, like Karisma’s, will play an important role in achieving key goals under the Government’s growth agenda.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the aim for an annual five per cent growth is well on track, following confirmation by Karisma Hotels and Resorts that the groundbreaking for its US$900-million mega hotel development project will commence in January 2017.

Addressing tourism interests and other stakeholders at Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, on August 26, Mr. Bartlett pointed out that not only will it be the largest single development of hotels in the country’s history, but it will also create thousands of jobs.

The Minister  noted that  Karisma plans to build 10 hotels over 10 years, with a total of 5,000 rooms, adding that the Llandovery, St. Ann-based development is the first such project under the Government’s ‘Shovel Ready’ programme, led by the Ministry of Tourism.

“Everything is now ready. Karisma is now ready to move forward and we are all very excited, especially in relation to the significance of what this really means for our country and its people, This is expected to provide 10,000 direct and 8,000 indirect jobs,” Mr. Bartlett said.

“This will also lift tourism arrivals by at least two per cent in the first instance. And as we are projecting for a five per cent growth on an annualised basis between now and 2021, this development will be perfectly in line with that projection,” he added.

The Minister said new investments, like Karisma’s, will play an important role in achieving key goals under the Government’s growth agenda.

“I think this is a very critical signal that we are sending to the country that investment will be a critical pillar in driving our growth strategy.  It will be a key provider of jobs and we are placing special priority on creating employment for more Jamaicans,” said Mr. Bartlett.

For his part, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Karisma, Ruben Becerra, said the required permits have already been submitted for processing and consultations and everything should be as planned.

He thanked Mr. Bartlett and the Government for being “willing and reliable partners”, adding that Jamaica is well on course to being the number-one destination in the Caribbean.

“We have had a great relationship with the people of this country. We have been doing business here for many years and we want to signal by our commitment, that this is now our home. Words cannot truly describe how happy we are to invest in this country,” Mr. Becerra said.

The ‘Shovel Ready’ initiative has been undertaken by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and Commissioner of Lands to pre-package a number of investment offerings.

The initiative also seeks to directly assist investors by obtaining tacit development approvals, conduct carrying-capacity studies, assess appropriate land utilisation and install preliminary infrastructure. By doing this, the process of investing in Jamaica’s tourism industry is streamlined and expedited.