JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Kingston has to be repositioned as one of the leading city destinations in the Caribbean.
  • “There is a market out there for city tourism, and Kingston is the right fit. “It has the charm, it has the heritage and it has some high-quality hotel rooms with more slated to come on stream,” - Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett
  • Mr. Bartlett argued that Kingston has been that sleeping giant that is about to wake up from that slumber, and “once we put all the necessary infrastructure in and get all the players on board, then the possibilities are endless”.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Kingston has to be repositioned as one of the leading city destinations in the Caribbean.

In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Bartlett said news that Sandals International Resorts will be constructing a high-end hotel in Kingston as part of its US$350-million hotel expansion plan is “certainly sweet music to my ears”

“There is a market out there for city tourism, and Kingston is the right fit. “It has the charm, it has the heritage and it has some high-quality hotel rooms with more slated to come on stream,” he said.

Mr. Bartlett added that while he knows the competition is going to be strong because of what is happening in Cuba and Santo Domingo where city tourism is concerned, “we can define our own space because Kingston has a charm and an allure of its own with a history and a tradition and culture that is iconic”.

“Our music and heritage and the entertainment element that Kingston offers will outrival every other destination in the Caribbean, and we have to work at it and get it right,” the Minister said.

Mr. Bartlett argued that Kingston has been that sleeping giant that is about to wake up from that slumber, and “once we put all the necessary infrastructure in and get all the players on board, then the possibilities are endless”.

For his part, Chief Executive Officer of Sandals International Resorts and Chairman of the Tourism Linkages Council, Adam Stewart, noted that approval has already been received for development of the Kingston hotel, which will not carry a Sandals brand, but will be operated by them.

“That connectivity is going to be there and we’re very deliberate in what we’re trying to do. The essence of what we’re doing is to say that you can come here for business, but we’d like you to stay here a few extra days as well, visit the Blue Mountains and get out for an excursion,” he said.

Mr. Stewart pointed out that the famed Devon House will be at the centre of their gastronomy plans and that the main target market will be the business traveller who also wants to add some leisure to his time in Jamaica.

“Our market research shows that this can be a very lucrative and attractive market. We are very excited about this and are certainly itching to go,” he said.