More than 7,000 new hotel rooms over next two years, says Bartlett

Observer writer

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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ROSE HALL, At James — Jamaica is set to add more than 7,500 new hotel rooms over the next two years, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told journalists at a Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) media update breakfast held at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa in St James on Monday.

From the long list of entities named by the minister, one in particular, Hard Rock Hotel, is expected to break ground in November for the construction of 1,100 new rooms on the 'Elegant Corridor' in Rose Hall, St James.

“The expansion of our product will continue,” Bartlett said, adding that He added that Sandals Resorts International is also expected to construct a high-end seven-star signature product at Dragon Bay in Portland.

H10 Resorts is also scheduled to construct 750 rooms in Trelawny, while on October 18, the new 350-room Oyster Bay Excellence Hotel, also in the parish, will be opened.

Half Moon Resort is currently constructing 75 new villas, while there is an expansion proposal in place for 750 new rooms at Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa by 2021, Bartlett announced.

He also disclosed that discussions are being held with a number of investors in relation to the building-out of facilities at Green Island in Hanover, and Kingston.

“We have more to say on that, because Kingston is now going to see the addition of nearly 500 new rooms by the end of 2019. Wyndham (Hotels & Resorts) will complete their refurbishing programme that will bring another 450 rooms in place. The R (Hotel) is going to be ready for opening with 75 rooms in a few days, and AC Marriott in Kingston, which is being developed by Sandals Resorts International, will be ready next year with some 120 rooms,” said Bartlett.

“So we are going to be having an adequacy of room inventory for the tour operators and the travel agents who are out there anxious to sell. There is no question about that at all,” he said.

On Saturday, Director of Tourism Donovan White told theJamaica Observerthat the tourism ministry's vision is to grow the room stock in Jamaica by 15,000 over the next three to five years.

“We believe that is a realistic goal. We believe that will continue to ensure that the destination continues to grow its numbers, because with rooms we can grow deeper in our market. We can bring more visitors to our shores,” stated an optimistic White.

He added that the aim is also to grow the industry's arrival figure by a minimum of five per cent each year, for the next five years, while the focus is to grow revenues from tourism to US$5 billion over the next five years.

Last year, the country recorded a record 4.4 million visitor arrivals.

The director said so far this year, the industry is growing by a little under five per cent and is therefore on target to receive more visitors over last year's record-breaking arrivals.

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