Following the breaking of grounds, over 19,000 short and long-term employment opportunities are projected to be generated from the over $ 2 billion in multifaceted and sustainable projects by Spanish tourism resorts this year.
The construction of housing units for hospitality workers will be among the projects which will be hallmarked by close collaboration with farmers and other local suppliers of goods and services, as part of enhancing sustainability, addressing major shortages, and integrating local input in as many areas as feasible.
Details of the planned projects were outlined to Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett and other senior tourism officials in Madrid, Spain, recently, by owners of the respective companies, who form part of Spanish Hotel Association, Inverotel.
The projects by the Spanish investors follow other major investments by Jamaican investors Sandals and American, Mexican, Canadian, Chinese and other foreign investors.
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett describes the developments as “a clear signal that Jamaica is in demand and that we have developed an attractive tourism product”.
“We will continue in our efforts to attract tourism investments and see to it that the benefits of tourism are properly spread throughout the economy. Given this rapid rate of growth and development, a very solid approach is being taken in tying housing, agriculture and firmer linkages in the provision of goods and services to the benefit of even more Jamaicans,” Bartlett said.
” I will have more to say on this in the coming weeks and months as we have a lot of issues to sort through, as right now some micro, small, medium and big companies are struggling to keep up with current demands from the sector,” Bartlett added.
The Spanish-led projects cover major resort developments spanning the parishes of Hanover and St Ann.
The expansion of Grand Palladium Hotel and Resorts, with the construction of two new high-end resorts with approximately 1,000 suites, employee housing and farming collaboratives with residents in Lucea, Hanover.
Spanish-led projects in St Ann include a 700-suite Secrets resort and the game-changing Pinero family-led development around Grand Bahia, which will be one of the largest resort and real estate development projects ever executed in the Caribbean and Latin America.
That project represents a massive expansion of their existing Bahia Principe product in the garden parish to include new hotels, villas, a PGA-certified 18-hole golf course, a state-of-the-art fisherman’s village, farms, modern employee residences and educational facilities among other facilities and amenities.
Bartlett was leading a small delegation of Tourism officials at FITUR 2024, in Madrid, Spain, a major tourism fair with 8,000 exhibitors, 130 countries represented and over 300,000 attendees. It represents one of the largest gatherings of tourism professionals globally and is the leading fair for Latin America’s receptive and issuing markets.
Bartlett was joined in Spain by senior tourism officials John Lynch, chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor and Strategist, Ministry of Tourism, and other JTB management personnel in Spain.
Seiveright noted that labour, tourism worker training, roads, airport flow and infrastructure, building permits and related bureaucratic issues, and linkages – specifically shortages of goods, including agricultural produce, meats, beer, rum and other items, dominated discussions with Spanish hotel stakeholders.