he government of Antigua and Barbuda intends to surpass the projected growth of 6.5% that has been announced by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. This, Prime Minister Browne said will be achieved based on the investments programmed for 2020.
“This economic performance will again be primarily underpinned by tourism; significant construction activity; and major investments in infrastructure. These will produce even more jobs, additional income for families, and overall improvement in the standard of living of our people. In 2020, investments in the tourism sector will top $2 billion,” said Prime Minister Browne.
The tourism investments for 2020 include:
i. the $325 million to be spent in 2020 on the PLH Ocean Club on Barbuda
ii. the $125 million renovation and expansion project at the existing Rex Halcyon Hotel by Sunwing
iii. the development of a $270 million beach club at Fort James by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
iv. $540 million One and Only Hotel and Luxury Villas at Pearns Point
v. $100 million Armand Hotel Project in Barbuda
vi. $540 million Port Oasis project at Side Hill. This project will be undertaken by the Hadeed Group of Companies in conjunction with international partners. Once completed, this has the potential to receive calls from Virgin Voyages and other vessels
vii. NAMCO will assume 65% ownership of the Jolly Beach Hotel and will spend $150 million to expand and refurbish the property. This will make it one of the largest and most beautiful hotels in the OECS sub-region.
Prime Minister Browne also announced a number of other projects to include a Best Western Hotel, a Marriott Courtyard Hotel at the Airport, the Ayre Wellness Centre and Spa at Valley Church, Replay Halfmoon Bay project, and the YIDA projects.
He said that many private luxury dwellings will also be constructed across Antigua and Barbuda: Pearns Point, Jumby Bay, Mill Reef Club, Galley Bay Heights, Windward Beach, and the US$50 million Baron Thyssen luxury home at Laurie Bay, which is presently under construction.
Prime Minister Browne also revealed that the new owners of Callaloo Cay will procced with the hotel project at Morris Bay, starting construction later this year.
“Another exciting hotel project, beginning in the second quarter of this year is the Bungalows project at Devils Bridge. This is a US$100 million, Elite Island Resorts project, that offers a wonderful opportunity for Antiguans and Barbudans, to acquire a stake in a hotel property,” PM Browne said.
He noted that the developer has confirmed the involvement of two large international tour operators, who will market and promote the property.
One-third of the development will be made available for sale to locals which is a requirement of the government.
It was also announced that the Sunwing renovation and expansion of the Halcyon Cove Hotel will also offer a similar opportunity for Antiguans and Barbudans to invest in tourism accommodation.
The country’s leader also revealed that the country major golf club will open up an opportunity for Antiguans and Barbudans to invest in a hotel project. The Government is making 10 acres of land available to locals, at $3 per square foot, for development of a 50-room Marriott Courtyard-type hotel within the golf course.
He said that Individuals, or a consortium of local investors, are invited to make their proposals for consideration by the Cabinet.
“These investments, costing in excess of $2 billion, will generate an economic boom: creating more jobs; increasing income; and enlarging demand for goods and services from which retailers, wholesalers and owners of every type of business will benefit,” Prime Minister said. (Ends)