JIS News

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller sees a positive outlook for the country’s tourism industry based on the present levels of visit and stop over arrivals as well as the broadening of the accommodations sector.
She made the observation on Saturday (Jan. 20) while addressing the official opening ceremony for the Gran Bahia Principe Hotel at Pear Tree Bottom in St. Ann. The property was developed by the Pinero Group of Spain.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also said a planned $60 Million transformation of the Seville Heritage Park site through the Tourism Enhancement Fund would further boost to the number of available visitor attractions. She said the project was part of the governments drive to place increased focus on Jamaica’s heritage and culture as part of its tourism product.
She said that the linkages with agriculture, manufacturing, craft and entertainment and the services sectors, augur well for the creation of more sustainable growth in the industry. She said the spate of activity in the sector was the result of a strategic plan for sustainable tourism development that envisioned the industry as a powerful engine driving economic and social opportunities for the Jamaica people and contributing toward increased foreign exchange earnings, GDP growth and job creation.
The Prime Minister said that in addition establishing targets for visitor arrivals, increased room stock and visitor expenditure the plan also emphasized the critical role of foreign direct investment of which the Gran Bahia Principe Hotel was an outstanding example.
Turning to infrastructural development, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the completion of the Montego Bay to Ocho Rios segment of the North Coast Highway would facilitate easy ground transfers from the airport to properties such as the Bahia Principe. She pointed to substantial developments taking place at the country’s ports of entry as well as the continuous upgrading of electricity and water supplies, housing for hotel workers and new approaches in sewerage management.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the expansion of the industry provided tremendous opportunities for private sector partnership as part of the integrated development approach. In welcoming the Pinero Group to Jamaica, the Prime Minister said looked forward to a long lasting and fruitful relationship.