Jamaica “On the Cusp” of Hotel Boom

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Above: the Half Moon resort in Jamaica

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica’s hotel sector could soon see a surge in development, according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.

While the country’s tourism sector was, like the rest of the region, hit hard by the downturn, it could be in for a turnaround.

According to Phillips, the construction of around 1,500 hotel rooms is being “actively pursued” by several international brands that have invested in the country’s tourism industry.

Work has already begun on some projects, he said, while others are at “various stages of completion.”

“I am not referring to any of the projects that are linked to the potential of casino gaming,” he said. “I am talking about projects that are underway in relation to the expansion of the rooms. We are on the cusp of a boom.”

But Jamaica could also soon see an uptick in employment in two key sectors: Information and Communication Technology and Business Process Operations, he said.

According to the Minister, the government was “actively pursuing” an additional line of credit for provision to the Development Bank of Jamaica to help expand the ICT and Business Process Operation Sectors, according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.

Doing so would yield “significant employment,” Phillips said last week at the Kingston Rotary Club’s Weekly Luncheon.

The DBJ currently has a $20 million USD line of credit for developments in the two sectors, but that funding is “likely to be exhausted in another two to three months,” he said, based on the number of applications received and approved.

Based on the applications that have been considered and approved, he said, “there is the certainty of approximately 4,000 additional jobs.”

“It is clear that there are tens of thousands of jobs that are available, and Jamaica has caught the attention, not only of the international community, but of the local investor community, as a viable centre for the establishment for the establishment of ICT/BPO operations,” he said.

Another application is currently in the “final stages of consideration” that would generate around 2,500 more jobs, Phillips said.

 

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