A US$1 billion multi-resort development that will add approximately 4,700 new rooms in Jamaica’s tourism sector has broken ground. The project, Sugarcane Bay Jamaica in Llandovery, St. Ann, is being executed by Karisma Hotels and Resorts on a 226-acre property. The landmark investment will create 10,000 new permanent jobs, attract approximately 375,000 visitors annually to the island and generate $850 million yearly to the economy. The resort also represents the first major investment under the country’s ‘Shovel Ready’ Program.
Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said the investment is an indication of the robust growth in local tourism. “Significant investments have been made in the industry and these investments have been able to generate significant returns. Investors now know that investing in Jamaica is a profitable business,” he added.
The Prime Minister said investors can also be assured that their investments are safe and secure, due to the strong economic policy in Jamaica. “So, you can be certain that whatever you invest here, will not be at the mercy of whimsical tax policy or other forms of regulations that could deplete or ruin your business. That is not the case in Jamaica,” he said. “Once you are in, you are solid. You are on a very solid institutional foundation.”
Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, said the investment represents a new chapter for St. Ann’s tourism output to the overall economy. Additionally, he pointed out that revenue to be generated will enable a wide range of economic activities to take place, providing the basis of “prosperity which is the mantra of this Government. So, we are excited about the partnership and I want to say to you that this is a very important moment that you are showing confidence in destination Jamaica. It’s an important moment too, when you are saying to the world, given the current situation that we are facing, tourism is still the energizer of economic activities globally,” he said.
The Minister noted that this development forms part of Jamaica’s overall goal of 15,000 new rooms in the next three to five years. Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Armando Chomat, lauded the Jamaican Government and its agencies for working with the group to make Sugarcane Bay Jamaica a reality.