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Prime Minister and Government Ministers Meet With Tourism Investors

Ministry of Tourism | 2012-06-28 10:37:00

Prime Minister and Government Ministers Meet With Tourism Investors

Plans Afoot to Boost Investment and Efficiency in Tourism Sector

Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller, along with the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill and Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon Dr. Peter Phillips yesterday met with major investors in the hotel and hospitality sector to examine ways to facilitate further investment in Jamaica, and enhance operational efficiencies within the sector.

Among the hoteliers present were owner of Iberostar, Don Miguel Fluxa, and owner of Bahia Principe, Pascal Pinero, who came to Jamaica to meet with the Prime Minister. The meeting was also attended by tourism officials including Jennifer Griffith, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Director of Tourism, John Lynch, and Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Senator Noel Sloley.

An important part of the discussion, which was held at Jamaica House, was how hotel operations can be better integrated into the fabric of business in Jamaica in order to create greater linkages with the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Concerns surrounding the costs of investing and operating businesses in Jamaica were also raised and possible solutions examined.  

Minister McNeill said, u201cwe have had tremendous feedback from hoteliers, and what we will now do is work together to identify areas with potential for development, as well as the issues which are obstacles in the way of improving business operations.u201d He said further, u201cinstrumental to us using tourism as a tool to develop Jamaica and our economy, is developing the linkages between tourism and other sectors including manufacturing and agriculture, resulting in the integration of the economy of tourism into the broader economy of Jamaica. We must now intensify our efforts to get this done.u201d

 Noting that investment is key to Jamaicau2019s economic recovery, Prime Minister Simpson-Miller noted that u201cbased on what was expressed in the meeting, recommendations can now be made as to how best to facilitate the process for potential investment,u201d adding that u201cany investment made would auger well for Jamaica.u201d On the issue of enhancing business operations Minister McNeill noted that u201cweu2019ve looked at some of the comparative costs and the hotels are to provide us with some additional information. Going forward we will examine how we can ultimately create better efficiencies in the operations of our tourism industry.u201d

Also in attendance at yesterdayu2019s meeting were Phillip Hofer and Antonio Casado of Iberostar, Gabriel Felip of Bahia Principe, Frank Sondern, Regional Director of Operations at RIU Hotels, Jamaica, Dimitri Kosvogiannis of Fiesta Jamaica and Michael McMorris, Managing Director of Seawind Key Investments (Secrets Resorts, Jamaica).

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