Jamaica is projected to earn more than US$5 billion in direct foreign exchange inflows from visitor occupancy of approximately 8,000 rooms slated for construction over the next two to five years.
Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says over 24,000 new jobs are also expected to be generated by the developments, valued approximately US$2 billion, which are either underway or slated to commence shortly.
“It will be the largest expansion of tourism in the history of the industry [in Jamaica],” Mr. Bartlett further indicated, during a recent media briefing at Gordon House, in downtown Kingston.
Mr. Bartlett said the programmed activities include the 2,000-room Princess Hotel in Hanover which, he noted, is “going apace”, adding that “we are expecting to have the first 1,000 rooms ready by 2023”.
The Minister indicated that the 260-room Sandals Dunn’s River development in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is “going extremely well”, pointing out that “we should have [the completion] also towards the end of 2022 into 2023”.
He further advised that the new 700-room RIU Hotel being constructed in Falmouth, Trelawny, is expected to “go apace” and should be ready by mid-2023.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett said groundbreakings are slated for several developments, among them the 2,000-room Hard Rock Hotel in St. James which, he informed, “will be in another few weeks”.
The Minister pointed out that the development will be a “multi-facility, with not just one, but three different layers of hotel experiences [including] a very high-end brand”, details of which will be unveiled in due course.
“Then we have a number of other smaller projects happening, by our own local Jamaicans, who are doing smaller hotels and villas,” he further indicated.
Mr. Bartlett highlighted the villa subsector which, he noted, “is growing leaps and bounds.”
He noted that it is helping to change the clientele demographic visiting Jamaica, attract more families, and offers a lot more engagement with communities.
“These families will leave from the villas and purchase at supermarkets and our local markets and elsewhere and add greatly to the flow of funds within the communities. So, I think Jamaica is in a very good place, in terms of the tourism sector,” Mr. Bartlett said.