Tourism Minister Upbeat on 2010/11 Investments

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has disclosed that following upon his recent visit to Spain, European investors will be coming to Jamaica in May to tour prospective resort sites in St. James and St. Elizabeth.
Making his contribution to the 2010/11 Budget Debate in Gordon House today, Mr. Bartlett also informed that representatives from Alcudiamar (Spain) are expected to arrive in the island soon, to explore the potential for developing a marina village in Montego Bay.
He announced that the all inclusive Secrets, St. James with 350 rooms, is expected to be officially opened during the annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) trade show on May 12. Its sister resort, the adults only Secrets Wild Orchid, Montego Bay, was opened two weeks ago.
“The two resort projects are estimated to cost US$100 million and US$180 million, respectively, and will also create 1,500 jobs during construction, and provide an additional 950 jobs,” the Minister stated.
The operators of these hotels, AM Resorts, say that within their first year, the two hotels are projected to receive 52,000 guests with an average occupancy rate of 70 per cent for the period, Mr. Bartlett told the House.
He said the end of this year, the Montego Bay Convention Centre, which is expected to be another major employer, should be completed. He also announced that the Centre has already secured an important international event for early 2011.
The Tourism Minister said the recent passage of the Casino Gaming Bill in Parliament, should help to stimulate two other billion dollar projects – the Tavistock Group’s partnership with the Government on the US$4-5 billion Harmony Cove project in Trelawny, and Celebration Jamaica Limited’s (Palmyra Resort and Spa) US$1.8 billion investment in Rose Hall, Montego Bay.

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