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Investment opportunities that are available in the island’s tourism sector, have been highlighted at a special Investor Forum, hosted by Jamaica Trade and Invest (JTI), at this year’s World Travel Market Trade Show, which is currently underway in London.
“Jamaica offers several attractive investment opportunities,” Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, told the seminar this week, adding that the sector was the biggest earner of foreign exchange for the island, and employed 80,000 persons directly, and 180,000 indirectly.
“The accommodation sector has attracted much foreign investment. In fact, over the last five years, we have had well in excess of US$1.5 billion of direct foreign investment and we have been able to build, over the period, 5,000 additional rooms, with 5,000 more on stream and 10,000 more planned to meet our target of 45,000 rooms by 2015,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He pointed out that growth is continuing in the tourism sector, and that the island is set to exceed the 2.9 million visitors last year, with an overall increase of 5.5 per cent increase in visitor arrivals this year.
To support this growth, the Minister cited infrastructural development that is taking place, including the modernisation and expansion of the two international airports; improvement of the road network; and expansion and development of the cruise ships piers.
Jamaica Trade and Invest Regional Manager for the United Kingdom/Europe, Laurence Jones, outlined the investor friendly incentives, including income tax relief and exemption from import duties and sales taxes.
“The range of investment opportunities in Jamaica’s tourism product is very diverse. Investors in Jamaica’s tourism product, whether they be hotel developers or attraction developers, find Jamaica to be very investor friendly, due to legislation that allows for free movement of capital, no capital gains taxes, a double taxation treaty with a number of countries , unrestricted ownership of land, and the fiscal incentives offered by the Government,” he added.
Staged annually in London, the World Travel Market a major travel and tourism business event.