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Ground is scheduled to be broken on July 11, for the construction of anew city/business hotel in Kingston.

This was disclosed by Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, during his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 2.

The Minister informed that the Courtyard Marriott, which is being developed by a group of local investors, will be constructed at a cost $1.75 billion.

“Upon completion it is expected to provide employment for 430 Jamaicans,” Dr. McNeill pointed out.

The Minister further informed that another hotel development, RIU Palace in Montego Bay, is currently under construction at a cost of $3.94 billion and will be ready for the next winter season, creating 500 new jobs.

These developments, he said, along with investments in new ventures and the refurbishing of existing properties, by both international and local interests, signify that “investor confidence has returned to the hotel sector and destination Jamaica.”

“Over the past year, a number of properties have been acquired or are in the process of being acquired with major refurbishing taking place at the properties. These properties formerly operated as: Grand Lido Braco, the Royal Decameron at Paradise Cove, Ritz Carlton, Poincianna and Breezes Runaway Bay. Among these properties, some $10 billion has already been committed to refurbishing some of them,” he said.

Dr. McNeill noted that some of these properties will be flagged by international brands, such as Blue Diamond, Melia and Karisma.

The Minister noted that of great significance as well, is that Sagicor now owns and operates three hotels in Jamaica under the Jewels flag and has become a major player in the industry.

“These investments speak for themselves. They are expressions, loud and clear that there is confidence in brand Jamaica and the future of our sector,” he asserted.

Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards