Over $64 Billion Invested in Tourism – PM

Photo: JIS Photographer Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (3rd right), participates in the cutting of ribbon to open the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on December 2. Others (from left) are: Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton; Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill; President of Palace Resorts, the parent company for Moon Palace, Jose Chapur; Executive Vice President of Palace Resorts, Gibran Chapur; and Mexico’s Ambassador to Jamaica, Cecilia Jaber.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that over $64 billion has been invested in tourism over the past four years, giving Jamaica a competitive edge and making it a prime getaway spot for tourists.
  • The Prime Minister noted that over 2,000 new rooms have either been added or are currently under construction, with a further 8,000 to come on stream in the near future.
  • The Prime Minister said tourism represents an area of real economic stability and growth, employing over 180,000 persons and contributing more than US$2 billion in earnings annually.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that over $64 billion has been invested in tourism over the past four years, giving Jamaica a competitive edge and making it a prime getaway spot for tourists.

Addressing tourism interests and stakeholders at the opening of the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios on December 2, the Prime Minister noted that over 2,000 new rooms have either been added or are currently under construction, with a further 8,000 to come on stream in the near future.

“These are real exciting times for tourism,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said. “The Administration has created the kind of environment where foreign investors have been looking at Jamaica as a great place to do business, and this Moon Palace investment is a testament to that fact,” she pointed out.

The Prime Minister said tourism represents an area of real economic stability and growth, employing over 180,000 persons and contributing more than US$2 billion in earnings annually.

“This commitment by Moon Palace goes to show that tourism continues to be on the rise and that Jamaica continues to attract direct foreign investment,” she added.

The 700-room property, formerly Sunset Jamaica Grande, was acquired by the Mexico-based hotel chain, Palace Resorts, in 2014.

The property, which was extensively renovated, now boasts refurbished guest rooms, meeting spaces, and upgraded and redesigned common areas, making it an architectural showpiece.

The Prime Minister said she was encouraged that over 1,200 persons have been employed to the property, 600 of whom were retained from the previous ownership.

Palace Resorts’ Executive Vice President, Gibran Chapur, said he is pleased that Jamaica was chosen as the site for the company’s first major hotel outside of Mexico.

He noted that great things were happening in Jamaica and Palace Resorts is happy to be part of the “new renaissance.”

“We want to be a part of this country’s continued success,” he said. “We have already invested over US$200 million; why not invest a further US$300 million? he said,  hinting at possible new investment.

Mr. Chapur also thanked the Government for its assistance and support throughout the construction process.

He noted that Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s fastest growing resort towns and is “on its way to becoming the ultimate destination for guests from all over the world.”

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