KINGSTON, Jamaica, Tuesday November 17, 2015 – Another US$200 million has been pumped into the tourism sector by international investors for the construction of two five-star hotels, and with it will come 10,000 jobs.
The new Trelawny-based hotels will provide 800 additional rooms, and 1,000 permanent jobs.
The investors are Ocean by H10 Hotels, a Spanish and Canadian joint venture group. Design work for the properties has commenced, and construction is slated to start in 2016, with the openings set for late 2018.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference where the announcement was made, Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr. Wykeham McNeill said the investments will deliver over 10,000 spin-off jobs over the next two years.
“We are seeing a boom in the tourism sector now that is unprecedented. We are going to get new properties, we are creating linkages, so that Jamaicans, and Jamaican companies can benefit from the investments that are taking place,” he said.
In October, the international hotel chain, Karisma Hotels and Resorts, announced an investment of over US$900 million to add some 4,000 more hotel rooms over the next decade.
By December 2015, some 2,694 new rooms will come on stream, as a result of upgrading and expansion of existing properties, as well as construction of new hotels, from an investment of US$500 million.
The Tourism Minister said with the jobs flowing, his Ministry is working with agencies such as the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) and the National Housing Trust (NHT), to “ensure that the housing for the workers is all put in place.”
Investor with Ocean by H10 Hotels, Carlos Moleon, credited the measures being undertaken by the Government, which have made the country attractive for business.
He said the administration was doing a “great job with their reform towards bringing in foreign investors”.
“That is why H10 has decided to invest in Jamaica,” he said.
For his part, Chairman of the JTB Dennis Morrison said the agency will ensure that subsectors such as manufacturing and agriculture can seize opportunities from the investments.
“The agriculture sector will feel the impact of that and we are coordinating the efforts, so that investors in the economy, such as furniture manufacturers, can benefit fully,” he noted.