Prime Minister Bruce Golding has commended the Iberostar chain of hotels for choosing Jamaica to make “substantial” investments, which are expected to generate an additional 8,351 hotel rooms in the tourist industry at a cost of more than US$1 billion.
“Iberostar has positioned itself among the leading tourism enterprises in the world. It operates 42 offices worldwide and almost 100 hotel properties with over 60,000 beds in 13 countries. Indeed, it operates hotels in countries as far flung as Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Brazil, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and now Jamaica. Simply put, Iberostar is a superstar,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Golding was addressing the official opening of the 5-star Iberostar Rose Hall Beach hotel near Montego Bay, on December l.
He pointed out that the official opening of the hotel completed the first phase of a significant investment, creating a “spanking new five-star resort facility,” which was a welcomed addition to the menu of excellent offerings which Montego Bay provided for visitors from all over the world.
“We are delighted that you have chosen to make Jamaica one of your investment locations. As indicated, this is just Phase one. The second phase is scheduled for completion by May of next year and the third phase by November. When all completed, Iberostar Rose Hall Beach hotel will comprise just under 1,000 rooms, representing a total investment of US$225 million,” the Prime Minister said.
“When aggregated, the projects already completed, under construction or in advanced planning stage, total 8,351 rooms and a total investment of more than US$1 billion,” he added.
Mr. Golding said that notwithstanding the fact that the hotels were competitors in a fiercely competitive market, they were companions in their commitment to Jamaica, which was clearly manifested in their collaboration to establish the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation. This would result in philanthropic projects in education, skills training, craftsmanship, culture, agriculture and community development.
“This is something which my government inherited from the previous administration. I want to pay particular tribute to former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, who pioneered this new investment thrust,” the Prime Minister said.
He reiterated the government’s commitment and strong support in the continued facilitation of more Spanish investments in Jamaica.
“Tourism can be the driver for the kind of economic development and growth that has eluded us for too long because, more than any other area of economic activity, it can pull many other sectors into participation in economic activity. It must therefore be pursued from a broad perspective to ensure that the benefits of tourism percolate throughout the economy,” Mr. Golding emphasised.