Portia upbeat

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (centre) cuts the ribbon to signal the opening of Club MoBay at Sangster International Airport yesterday. She is flanked by (from left) Amanda Lopez; David Hall, CEO VIP Attractions; Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill; Minister of National Security Peter Bunting; Opposition Tourism Spokesman Edmund Bartlett; and Eduardo Canelas, CEO of MBJ Airports Limited.

MONTEGO BAY — Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has expressed optimism that the economy will rebound and record growth at a reasonable pace. She, however, did not provide a time frame in which it was expected to occur.

“I am very confident that our country will overcome the present challenges and realise our objective of reducing our debts, creating jobs and getting our economy to grow at an acceptable rate,” she said.

Faced with a national debt of some $1.5 trillion, the drying up of the Net Internal Revenue (NIR) and a plunging dollar against its international counterparts, the country is anxiously awaiting the signing of an agreement with the International Monteray Fund (IMF) to place the economy on stable footing.

Saturday, which signalled the start of the winter tourism season, Simpson Miller, who was speaking at the official opening of Club MoBay – a VIP lounge established at Sangster International Airport – pinned her hopes on the tourism sector rescuing the ailing economy.

“Our tourism industry offers us solid reason for confidence. Every step forward that our industry makes must be recognised and celebrated,” argued the prime minister.

Tourism brings in US $2b.

The industry raked in US$2 billion last year.

Among other things, Club MoBay offers state-of-the-art arrival and departure lounges consisting of showers, a premium bar, complimentary drinks and snacks, unlimited free Wi-Fi via high-speed Internet access, a business centre, a kiddies area, and a spa offering express treatments. Guests of Club MoBay will also enjoy fast-tracked access through security and immigration, as well as a personal escort to their departure gate.

“We have just opened up our escort service which allows one to have VIP treatment from the moment they land in Jamaica to the moment they leave. What we really do is we meet the persons on the plane, we bring them down to the brand new, state-of-the-art arrivals lounge [to] have a nice drink et cetera. Then they have a nice vacation in Jamaica and on their way out again, they are fast-tracked out of the airport,” CEO of Club MoBay David Hall told the Jamaica Observer.

Meanwhile, the prime minister, who hailed the addition of the new facility, noted that it was a result of private/public sector partnership. (Observer)

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