PM Welcomes US$1-Billion Investment by Karisma Hotels

Photo: Contributed Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (centre), shares a laugh with Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right); and Karisma Hotels and Resorts Chairman, Rafael Feliz at the official opening of the Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica on June 29 in Negril, Westmoreland.

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has welcomed the investment by Karisma Hotels and Resorts in the country’s tourism sector.
  • The company has indicated that it intends to pump US$1 billion in a ‘Sugar Cane Jamaica’ hotel development outside of Ocho Rios, St. Ann, over the next decade.
  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, for his part, hailed Karisma as a “very reliable partner”, noting that the company’s investment in Jamaica “remains one of the largest single tourism investment the country has ever seen”.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has welcomed the investment by Karisma Hotels and Resorts in the country’s tourism sector.

The company has indicated that it intends to pump US$1 billion in a ‘Sugar Cane Jamaica’ hotel development outside of Ocho Rios, St. Ann, over the next decade.

The Prime Minister said he is looking forward to the company’s “build-out in Jamaica, offering unique experiences to our visitors”.

“Jamaica is attaining the critical mass to maintain its competitiveness with increased room stock, availability of airlifts and easier transportation via sea, air and land,” he noted.
Mr. Holness was addressing the official opening of the Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica in Negril on June 29.

Karisma’s Chairman, Rafael Feliz, informed that the company plans to construct 5,000 rooms under its ‘Sugarcane Project.’

He said the hotel development is a testament to “our belief in the future of Jamaica’s tourism.”

“The Government of Jamaica has been doing everything to show that they understand the importance of tourism to the economy,” he pointed out.

“We have been getting nothing but some wonderful assistance and we are really proud to be doing our part in helping to bring more visitors to the island,” he added.
Mr. Feliz said Jamaica is on track to becoming the region’s top tourism destination.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, for his part, hailed Karisma as a “very reliable partner”, noting that the company’s investment in Jamaica “remains one of the largest single tourism investment the country has ever seen”.

“An investment of US$1 billion is significant in any language,” he pointed out. “We are proud to have partners like these… partners, who walk the walk and talk the talk and who are more than ready to take us to that next big level where we are indeed the destination of choice in the Caribbean,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett said the visitor-arrival figures continue to increase, with the country welcoming 973,000 stopover visitors at the end of May, and the number rising sharply to more than a million before mid-June.

Located on Negril’s Seven Mile Beach, Azul Beach Resort Sensatori Jamaica combines the original 136-suite hotel, which opened in December 2013, and a new 149-room property.

The properties, which are adjacent and share facilities, feature 285 suites, 10 restaurants, nine bars and lounges, plus spa, gym, children’s playhouse, and more.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz; Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), John Lynch; Senior Advisor in the Ministry, Delano Seiveright; and Opposition Tourism Spokesman, Dr. Wykeham McNeill were among those at the opening ceremony.

Karisma Hotels & Resorts plans to operate 35 resorts worldwide by 2020, building on recent growth in the Caribbean and Mexico.

The company has 26 properties in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe under several brands, including El Dorado, Azul, Generations, Sensatori and Nickelodeon.

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