Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says the sector’s investment climate remains buoyant, as evidenced by the number of projects on track for completion, despite the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Bartlett, who was speaking during the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association’s (JHTA) online annual general meeting on September 18, reiterated that 90 per cent of the planned investments are still on target.
These, he said, include a 1,700-room hotel to be constructed in St James; 2,000 rooms planned for Green Island in Hanover; and a tourism development programme for Kingston and Port Royal.
Additionally, Bartlett said the ministry received “further confirmation” that the proposed Sandals Resorts development projects “are still on”.
The minister contended that this level of investment buoyancy results from tourism stakeholders’ confidence in the ability of the sector and, by extension, Jamaica, to bounce back from COVID-19 and, as such, are looking at “finishing projects started”.
“That confidence, I think, is born out of the hard work that all [stakeholders] have done to build out an infrastructure that enables COVID-19 security confidence levels to rise,” Bartlett posited.
Consequently, he added, “new visitors are seeing Jamaica as a preferred destination because of how we have been able to manage our destination”.
“So our goal to increase hotel rooms to 25,000 by 2023 is still on track,” Bartlett further stated.