Organizers of Dream Weekend say party series pumped millions into local economy

Chairman of Dream Entertainment Kamal Bankay says the staging of the party series provided a much needed capital injection into the local economy, which had been reeling from the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Bankay, despite this year’s staging being scaled back due to the pandemic a variety of stakeholders benefitted from the event including, those in the accommodation sector, the transport sector and vendors in the food and beverage sectors.

“If we do a rough calculation of approximately 3000 dreamers over five days with a spend of about US$360 per day, which covers transport, hotel, meals, dream season band among other costs, that amounts to JMD$860,250,000. That is quite a bit of inflows and a huge boost to the fledgling economy. We contribute $4.3B annually to the economy,” Bankay explained

“Furthermore the hotel occupancy was above 80% occupancy, at a time, when arrivals have been dwindling. From cottages and villas to the large all-inclusives, the hotels were running way above what has become the norm during this pandemic times. In addition, over 50 vendors were approved to vend outside each of the dream parties, this was a major infusion of revenue for them,” Bankay added.

Despite the revenues earned from the event, many in civil society were alarmed when photos and videos surfaced from the event, which showed maskless patrons not adhering to the physical distancing guidelines.

However, Senior Advisor/Strategist in the Ministry of Tourism, Delano Seiveright, seems to have  dismissed those criticism lauding what he called “Jamaica’s first COVID-19 bubble event”, as he shared commendations for the Dream team.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating socioeconomic impact on the lives of many Jamaicans, with the entertainment and tourism industries being amongst the hardest hit. I therefore commend the efforts of entertainment practitioners, such as the Dream Entertainment team, who staged COVID-compliant events which helped to inject millions back into our economy, helping our efforts to quickly rebound,” Seiveright said. 

Following the staging of Dream Weekend, Prime Minister Andrew Holness re imposed the ban on entertainment events.