Jamaica is expected to earn over US$5 billion in direct foreign exchange inflows from visitor occupancy of approximately 8,000 guest rooms slated for construction over the next two to five years.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said more than 24,000 new jobs are also expected to be generated by the developments, valued at around US$2 billion, which are either underway or due to start shortly.
“This will be the biggest tourism expansion in the history of the industry. [in Jamaica]Bartlett said at a recent press briefing at Gordon House in downtown Kingston.
Bartlett said scheduled activities include the 2,000-room Princess Hotel in Hanover which he noted is “moving forward”, adding that “we expect the first 1,000 rooms to be ready for here 2023”.
The minister indicated that the 260-room Sandals Dunn’s River development in Ocho Rios, St. Ann is “going extremely well,” stressing that “we should have [the completion] also towards the end of 2022 in 2023”.
He further indicated that the new 700-bedroom RIU hotel being built in Falmouth, Trelawny should “move fast” and be ready by mid-2023.
Meanwhile, Bartlett said groundbreaking work is planned for several developments, including the 2,000-room Hard Rock Hotel in St. James which he said “will be in a few weeks.”
The minister stressed that the development will be a “multi-property, with not one, but three different layers of hotel experiences [including] a very high-end brand”, the details of which will be revealed in due course.
“Then we have a number of other smaller projects going on, by our own local Jamaicans, who are building smaller hotels and villas,” he added.
Bartlett highlighted the villa sub-sector which he noted is “growing by leaps and bounds”.
He noted that this helps change the demographic of customers visiting Jamaica, attracting more families and offering much more engagement with communities.
“These families will leave the villas and buy from supermarkets and our local markets and elsewhere and add significantly to the flow of funds within the communities. So I think Jamaica is in a very good position, in terms of the tourism sector,” Bartlett said.