Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Saturday (Feb. 18) officially opened the 146-room Royal DeCameron Cornwall Beach resort in Montego Bay, St. James, brining the company’s room count in Jamaica to 521.
The new property adds to the 144 rooms at the Royal DeCameron Montego Bay and 231 at the Royal DeCameron Runaway Bay in St. Ann. The three resorts provide direct employment for some 650 Jamaicans.
Mr. Holness, in his address, said the Government welcomes the investment, which is in keeping with the economic growth and job creation strategy.
“When the economy grows the benefit to the people is jobs and tourism is one of those sectors in the economy that guarantees jobs when it expands,” he pointed out.
He said the addition of the new rooms will better enable the Government to meet its growth target for the sector.
The Administration is looking to welcome 5 million visitors per annum by 2021 and achieve US$5 billion in earnings, while increasing total direct tourism employment to 125, 000, with at least 15, 000 new rooms coming on stream.
The Prime Minister said the fundamentals are being put in place to ensure that Jamaica’s tourism goals are attained.
“Jamaica is attaining the critical mass to maintain its competitiveness with increased room stock, availability of airlift and easier transportation via air, sea and land. We already have a strong brand, an appealing natural environment…an exceptional human talent and cultural asset. Hard work and passion will also play an important role in the growth of this sector,” he said.
Prime Minister said the tourism sector continues to perform well with the island welcoming 3.8 million stopover and cruise visitors in 2016, representing a 3.9 per cent increase over the 3.6 million arrivals in 2015.
Preliminary figures for 2016 also indicate 6.3 per cent growth in foreign exchange earnings to US$2.5 billion.