For the quarter ending December 31, 2014, tourism grew at a rate of 6 per cent,even though a number of rooms were out of service.
Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, made the announcement as he opened the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday, April 17. He also informed that the tourism sector will see a lot of new rooms coming on stream, such as the Azul Sensatori, formerly Poinciana in Negril, which was acquired by Karisma and will officially open next month, having completed a $1.1 billion renovationproject. Also, the Royalton White Sands Hotel (formerly the Starfish Hotel), owned bySunwing Travel Group of Canada, completed its major refurbishing involving an investment of over $2.5 billion and re-opened in December last year.Other developments include the opening of the new RIU hotel at Mahoe Bay in Montego Bay, representing an investment of over $4.5 billion.
He also noted that the PLAYA Hotel and Resort’s new property in Montego Baywill be a 620-room Hyatt luxury all inclusive resort, which will open in the fourth quarter of 2014 after a total renovation and expansion investment of over US$80 million.
In addition, the Braco property being managed by Melia Hotels International is currently being refurbished and is expected to open for the 2014/2015 winter season. Meanwhile, Dr. Phillips stated that the government is proceeding to assess the proposals which it has received with respect to Integrated Resort Developments under the Casino Gaming Act.
“These will be reviewed and we expect, before the end of this Calendar year, to take decisions in this regard,” Dr. Phillips said.
By: Latonya Linton April 18, 2014