Spanish Hotel interests this morning committed to expanding their purchasing and support for local products and services. The commitment comes as Jamaica’s tourism industry continues on a strong growth path that will see the build-out of thousands of new hotel rooms over the coming months and years.
They also indicated strongly a willingness to work with the Government of Jamaica in collaborating with local businesses on the establishment of efficient and well-run farming operations to better supply the growing industry.
The commitment came from owners and Senior Executives of the largest Hotels and resorts in Jamaica under the Inverotel umbrella, an association representing Spanish hoteliers and operators, who this morning met with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and other tourism officials in Spain’s capital city, Madrid.
Representatives included the owners’ of three of the largest hotels in Jamaica: Grupo Pinero owners of Bahia Principe, Mrs Encarna Pinero, who also Chairs Inverotel; Iberostar’s Mr Miguel Fluxa and Grand Palladium’s, Abel Matutes. The commitment came as Minister Bartlett detailed major findings of a recent demand study. The study shows that Jamaica’s tourism sector’s total value of demand for agricultural products amounted to J$39.6 billion and a whopping J$352 billion for manufactured products. The Tourism Demand Study was designed to identify the existing/potential demand in the tourism sector for goods and services across local sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and entertainment. The study is done through the Ministry’s Tourism Linkages Council.
Spanish Hotel Investors have pumped approximately US$1.7 billion or J$238 billion into the Jamaican economy in recent years and represent 25 per cent of Hotel rooms. A further US$750 million or J$105 Billion in investments representing an additional 3,000 rooms is already in motion with the continued development of the new Spanish owned H10 resort in Trelawny and the planned development of the island’s largest resort by Princess Resorts in Hanover. Owner of Iberostar, Miguel Fluxa, commended Bartlett’s leadership noting that it “is the very base of Jamaica’s outstanding tourism product over the years”.
Among other matters discussed at the high-level engagement are work permits, beach protection, workers training, the Government’s new pension plan and enhanced coordination and integration with civil society. Minister Bartlett is currently in Spain participating in FITUR, the largest International Tourism Trade Fair for inbound and outbound Ibero-American markets.