Over US$1 billion in investments for tourism sector over the next two to three years
Several new projects that were slated for Jamaica’s tourism industry, but were put on hold due to the global economic depression, are expected to get off the ground starting this year. This is expected to channel some US$1billion in investments into the island’s vibrant tourism sector which continues to win international acclaim.
“The chairman (of the Jamaica Tourist Board) and myself went on a very vital mission to Europe last week and a very successful mission (where) we went to see our investment partners in the industry from Spain as well as some from the UK and we are very pleased to advise that the investment program that was stalled somewhat because of the recession and the dramatic change in the capital markets is coming back on track,” announced Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett on Thursday.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Ministry of Tourism in New Kingston, Minister Bartlett revealed that “we are expecting close to 4,000 new rooms to be added to the inventory over the next two to three years as a result of these discussions that we had.”
The Minister said the Grupo Excellence and the Fiesta Hotel chains are expected to restart this year, development in Oyster Bay, Trelawny and expansion work near Lucea, Hanover respectively. He said Fiesta’s hotel expansion of the Grand Palladium Resort in Hanover will involve the addition of 2,000 new rooms instead of the 900 that was initially planned, plus construction of a convention centre, golf course and other amenities.
Minister Bartlett also noted that the Harlequin Group is currently in negotiations for the purchase of a large property on the south coast for the development of a resort and this should be concluded by mid-year. Construction is expected to begin next year.
The Bahia Principe Resort at Pear Tree Bottom in Runaway Bay, St. Ann continues its expansion by constructing some 200 new rooms per year for the next two years. He also confirmed that the Marriott Hotel chain is to invest in the construction of a new property in Kingston.
A new maritime-type attraction that will showcase Jamaica’s formative piracy years is to come on stream in Falmouth which will complement the multi-billion dollar cruise ship port. “It is going to be called Captain Cook which is about galleons… each galleon will contain some 300 or so guests and will be decked out in a nice restaurant style and then using light and sound with special effects you will be able to see mock battles, canons firing off and so on as in the old days of the pirates,” the Minister explained.
In the meantime he said every opportunity is being seized to market Jamaica at major world events, the more immediate being the 2012 Olympic Games in London. “Without prejudice to any I am satisfied that Jamaica will be the most important country in London… we intend to utilize all the affinities that can flow from it and to ensure that Brand Jamaica gets its strongest burnishing ever that will endure to greater flows of visitors thereafter to us and of course the strengthening of our economy overall,” the Tourism Minister added.
Issued by: The Ministry of Tourism