JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says while Jamaica is not immune to its share of economic challenges, the fact still remains that more Jamaicans are employed today than at any other time in the nation’s history.
  • Speaking at the official opening of the 120-room S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, on January 27, Mr. Holness said this is even the more important, considering that the road to prosperity starts with being gainfully employed.
  • “A job is the first way to share in the prosperity. However, we need to do more…particularly with the tourism industry. Every time that I meet with my Cabinet…and the Minister of Tourism can tell you, I insist that the strategy for tourism must be to ensure that there is connectivity with the rest of the economy. The benefits of tourism must be shared with the people,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says while Jamaica is not immune to its share of economic challenges, the fact still remains that more Jamaicans are employed today than at any other time in the nation’s history.

Speaking at the official opening of the 120-room S Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James, on January 27, Mr. Holness said this is even the more important, considering that the road to prosperity starts with being gainfully employed.

“A job is the first way to share in the prosperity. However, we need to do more…particularly with the tourism industry. Every time that I meet with my Cabinet…and the Minister of Tourism can tell you, I insist that the strategy for tourism must be to ensure that there is connectivity with the rest of the economy. The benefits of tourism must be shared with the people,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

Mr. Holness argued that tourism by itself cannot act in isolation. “If you take away the block and steel, it is the people, the culture, our music, our language, our dance – it is all of that put together to form a package that distinguishes us from the rest of the world that makes people want to come here and enjoy,” he added.

The Prime Minister said the tourism industry must take an instrumental approach to ensure that the benefits are shared by more Jamaicans. He also implored local hospitality stakeholders to hire more Jamaican entertainers as part of their entertainment package, noting that “by doing so, you will be adding more value to your product.”

“This is something that occupies my mind greatly and indeed it moves my conscience. I have had discussions with the (Tourism) Minister where I have said to him that we must find ways to make tourism inclusive and beneficial to all the people of Jamaica,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness noted that very soon, the Government will be spending some $700 million to develop the famed ‘Dump Up Beach’ in Montego Bay, adding that “this is our attempt to create our own Emancipation Park in Montego Bay.”

“We have also signed off for the bypass road for Montego Bay. The engineering plans are now being designed and that should be finished shortly. It does take a little while to do all the studies and we have done most of the studies. Once finished, this will indeed enhance the tourism product,” he said.

The S Hotel, formerly Breezes Montego Bay, has been off the market for a decade, following its closure in 2009. It was sold by joint owners, NCB Staff Pension Fund and state-operated National Insurance Fund, in 2011 to hotelier Christopher Issa, owner of the Crissa Group.