State Visit was to Highlight and Strengthen Ties between Jamaica and Spain – King Juan Carlos I


His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain has said that his first state visit to the island was to highlight and strengthen the strong ties between Jamaica and Spain, not only in the political and economic fields, but also in the spheres of culture and development aid.
King Carlos, who was speaking at a reception held in his honour at the Palladium Hotel in Lucea, Hanover on Wednesday (Feb. 18), expressed his wish for “the deepening of relations and collaboration to the benefit of our peoples.”
He noted the contribution of Spanish investors to the development of the tourism industry, and mentioned future projects, including the inauguration of a hotel management school to “guarantee the training of young Jamaicans, in order to reach levels of excellence comparable to the most advanced tourism markets in the world.”
The reception was part of a full day of activity in the western end of the island for King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia on Tuesday (Feb. 17).
On arrival at the Sangster International Airport earlier in the day, the Spanish Monarchs participated in the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the expansion of the airport. The project is being carried out by Spanish investors.
In his address at the unveiling ceremony, Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, noted that the expansion and improvement project has significantly transformed the airport, which was a very important hub, linking the North America and European market with the Caribbean and Central America.
The airport, he said, was not only critical to Western Jamaica, “but to all of Jamaica, as it is the tourism gateway to Jamaica.”
“Last year, we handled through this airport, some 3.4 million passengers, but we have the capacity to handle almost 9 million passengers per year. My charge to Minister (of Tourism, Edmund) Bartlett therefore, is to go find the tourists, because we have the capacity at Sangster International Airport to handle them and my invitation to the investment public, particularly our investment partners from Spain, is to build more hotels because we have the airport gateway,” the Prime Minister stated.
Stating that the Sangster International Airport was an important part of the country’s economic infrastructure, the Prime Minister lauded Montego Bay Jamaica Airports Limited for “the investment they have made, the leadership they have provided, the work they have done and the excellent management that they have provided.”
Also on hand for the ceremony were Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Rheima Hall; Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett; Minister of Transport and Works, Michael Henry; Acting Custos of St. James, Enel Brydson; and Mayor of Montego Bay, Charles Sinclair.
Their Majesties, who arrived in the island on Tuesday (Feb. 17) for a two-day visit, later departed from the Sangster International Airport for Florida in the United States.

JIS Social