KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Tourism and entertainment minister, Dr. Wykeham NcNeill, and finance and planning minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, have hailed the significant investments in tourism on the north coast which, they estimate, will provide jobs for thousands of Jamaicans, while expanding the industry.
The ministers were speaking on Friday after an extensive tour of four major projects in St James, Trelawny and St Ann.
They visited the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara Resorts in Rose Hall, St James; Royalton White Sands in Trelawny; the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort, and the Ocho Rios cruise ship pier in St Ann.
While on a tour of the Hyatt and Royalton resorts, the ministers were updated on the progress of work, plans for opening, and the value that these properties will add to the island’s tourism product.
Phillips said that, during the tour, “We (got) a chance to see the tremendous revolution taking place in the tourism sector.”
“At the Hyatt and Royalton, we have seen massive expansions taking place. At the Hyatt, they have added a couple of hundreds rooms and on top of that, they have improved the quality of the product by adding to the physical amenities …they are employing some 1,200 Jamaicans. At Royalton White Sands… not only has that property expanded, but we have seen the plans for an additional hotel, which is going to be established next door,” he said.
The finance and planning minister said the developments speak to the “potential and the actual benefits that we are getting from the whole Economic Reform Programme, which has made Jamaica’s economy more competitive in global economic terms.”
Meanwhile, McNeill noted that the hotel developments and the upgrading of the Ocho Rios cruise ship pier form part of an estimated $35 billion investment in the tourism sector over the last two years.