JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the sector is poised for major investment, which will provide jobs and economic growth for the country.
  • Dr. McNeill was addressing the official opening of the Jewel Runaway Bay Lagoon Water Park in St. Ann on July 21.
  • He said the tourism sector continues to do well, with occupancy levels showing an increase.

Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the sector is poised for major investment, which will provide jobs and economic growth for the country.

“I am very happy that we are now poised in Jamaica to see an investment boom like none that we have seen before.  We are seeing not only investments in upgrading properties but we are seeing new properties coming on stream … with the prospects of an additional 1,600 rooms across the resort areas,” he said.

Dr. McNeill was addressing the official opening of the Jewel Runaway Bay Lagoon Water Park in St. Ann on July 21.

He said the tourism sector continues to do well, with occupancy levels showing an increase.

“We have had a good winter tourist season and despite having five per cent of our rooms out of commission for refurbishing, we are still pacing above what we paced last year, which is a tremendous positive for us,” he informed.

“Occupancy in the small, medium and large hotels are up over what they have been at any time in the past,” he said. “I believe that Jamaica is now in an excellent position going forward,” he added.

The water park, located on the grounds of the Sagicor-owned Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort was established at a cost of $550 million, adding another dynamic dimension to the country’s tourism product.

The 9,000-square foot water park is considered one of the largest of its kind in the entire Caribbean region.

Dr. McNeill hailed the establishment of the park as “another really strong show of confidence in the economy and the tourism sector of Jamaica.”

“They (Sagicor) have truly put their money where their mouth is by not just talking the talk, but walking the walk,” he pointed out.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Sagicor Group Jamaica, Richard Byles,  gave his company’s commitment to “expanding its role in tourism and to always improving the quality of the tourism product.’

The Jewel Runaway Bay Lagoon Water Park at the Jewel Runaway Bay Beach and Golf Resort in St. Ann officially opened on July 22.