By Janet Silvera
Spanish hotel chain Princess Resorts has committed to investing US$500 million in the construction of 2,000 rooms, while H10 Hotels has recommitted to spending US$250 million to add 1,000 rooms on the island.
The deal was sealed by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett during the FITUR trade show now on in Spain and follows a 2015 announcement by H10 to construct an 800-room resort in Trelawny.
Those rooms were scheduled for completion by 2018, but it is unclear why the project never got off the ground.
This new commitment will see the construction of an added 200 rooms and an injection of US$50 million more than was announced in 2015. Both investors will construct a total of 3,000 new rooms in Trelawny and Hanover by 2021, Bartlett said in a media release yesterday. He said that H10 would officially break ground on February 6, and Princess Hotels would do the same by mid-February.
Operating under the brand Ocean by H10 Hotels, the chain has more than 50 hotels in 18 destinations, while Princess Hotels and Resorts, ranked eighth in the Spanish market, has 19 hotels.
Highlighting the significance of the agreements, Bartlett said: “The value of this investment cannot be overstated as it will transform our tourism product and allow for heavier marketing of the destination. More rooms means more visitors, and more visitors means more foreign-exchange earnings, and, ultimately, more economic growth, which is in line with our 5x5x5 growth strategy”.
Currently, Jamaica’s room stock is 32,000. Under the 5x5x5 growth strategy, the aim is to have 15,000 additional rooms by 2022.
“These mega projects are ready to go. Funding is in place, lands have been purchased, and development ready to begin, following the requisite approvals being granted,” said Bartlett.
While at FITUR, the largest international tourism trade fair for inbound and outbound Ibero-American markets, Bartlett is expected to host business meetings with tour operators, airline representatives, and other industry partners, including major Spanish investors Iberostar, Grand Bahía, Grupo Piñero, and Grand Palladium