Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Jamaicans urged to invest in tourism

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TRELAWNY – Tourism and Entertainment Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill is urging Jamaicans to grasp the various investment opportunities which are available in the island’s tourism sector.

Addressing the official opening of the Melia Braco Village, in Trelawny, last Friday, Dr McNeill said the investment climate for local investors is right and Jamaicans should come forward with their projects and ideas.

“I want to see Jamaicans and Jamaican companies getting involved in investing in tourism. I want to see Jamaicans taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in tourism to make money and to make a profit,” the Minister said.

Dr McNeill said the National Insurance Fund (NIF) should be commended for its investment in Melia Braco Village, which ensured that the property remained in the hands of the pension fund and by doing so, kept the property in the hands of Jamaicans.

Meanwhile, the Minister is upbeat over recent developments in the tourism sector, especially the opening or reopening of a number of properties in recent weeks.

“In the last six weeks, this is the third property that we are opening in Jamaica that is under total rehabilitation or is new. I think it’s a tremendous achievement for Jamaica,” he said.

Dr McNeill pointed out that the project was delivered on time and within the US$23.5 million budget.

Looking at the sector since the start of the 2015/16 Winter Tourist Season in the middle of December last year, the Minister said arrivals have been up, especially at the Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, St James.

He cited the record 17 500 passengers who arrived or departed the Sangster International Airport on December 22 last year, 6 000 of whom were cruise ship transfers.

Dr McNeill said of the 98 flights which arrived at the airport on that day, 20 were 300 seaters from Germany and the United Kingdom. (JIS)

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