Major tourism investments in the works, says Sealy
Work is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of next year on a spanking new Hyatt hotel, as part of major investments planned in the island’s bread and butter tourism sector, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy has said.
Speaking in parliament yesterday, he announced that two 12-storey high rise Hyatt Towers will be constructed on the site of the old Harbour Police Station and Detco Motors on Lower Bay Street, The City.
The Minister, who was at the time moving the second reading of the Tourism Development (Amendment) Bill 2014, also spoke of other major developments in the works, in light of the Government’s recent decision to grant tax concessions to local hoteliers.
“Based on our analysis, the private sector has in fact committed to a minimum of three per cent growth in arrival earnings in the next five years,” Sealy said.
“It might sound ambitious in some respects but when you look at the list of confirmed projects stretching from 2015 and beyond, it is achievable,” he told members of the Lower Chamber.
Highlighting some of the other projects scheduled to come on stream, the St Michael South Central MP noted that during 2015 and beyond, Sandals Casuarina will be investing US$65 million, while providing employment for 600 people.
He further noted that during the third quarter of next year, Sandals Beaches was expected to invest US$200 million and employ 900-plus workers during the construction phase of the project.
The Minister of Tourism also said reconstruction was scheduled to begin at the dilapidated Sam Lord’s Castle in St Philip in the middle of next year, providing work for another 400 workers during the initial buildling phase with more job opportunities expected once the hotel is put back into operation. It is anticipated that US$200 million will be invested into the project that is expected to have an international brand.
Sealy disclosed that a further US$200 million will be invested at Settler’s Beach, St James, which will employ approximately 200 people during the construction phase.
“Apart from those investments, Sandy Beach [in Christ Church] has finally found a new owner and I understand a condo-hotel will be sited there. The old Asta, the Amaryllis Beach Resort, has also changed ownership and the new owner has branded it the Calypso Resorts. That work is expected to begin during next year,” the minister said.