- Published on Friday, 26 July 2013 04:33
- Written by Caricom News Network
Kingston, Jamaica: July 25, 2013 – Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill has welcomed plans for the construction of a two billion dollar Marriott Courtyard Hotel in New Kingston.
Speaking at today’s ground breaking ceremony for a 130-room hotel to be operated by the internationally known conglomerate, Marriott under its Courtyard brand, Minister McNeill said the entity “will further enhance our product offering while adding to the appeal of Jamaica as a world class tourism destination.”
Dr. McNeill further underscored that tourism was a highly effective agent of development,” adding that “investments in the industry play a significant role in stimulating growth in our economy.”
Pointing to a resurgence of investor confidence in the hotel sector, Minister McNeill said much work was being done by this Ministry and the Government to ensure the continued growth and development of the sector. “From where I sit and considering the work being put in by all our stakeholders, I am proud to say that the foundation of our tourism sector remains firm and the outlook for the industry’s performance is positive. Several new investors have acquired existing properties, new brands have come on board and other hotel chains are either planning to expand or will be constructing new properties,” declared the Minister.
In addition to new jobs during construction, upon completion the hotel is expected to provide employment for 430 Jamaicans.
Dr McNeill paid special tribute to former head of Pan Jamaican Group, the late Maurice Facey, for the monumental role he played in ensuring that the project materialized. As a pioneer developer, he said Mr. Facey was credited with shaping the local real estate industry as well as helping to lay a firm foundation for the development of both the private and public sectors.
Adding that Mr Facey’s sphere of influence in national life was limitless, Dr. McNeill said development of the new hotel was a vision he not only shared, but worked assiduously to ensure that it came to fruition.
The Minister also commended other partners in the project, Caribe Hospitality of Jamaica Limited for its demonstration of confidence through this investment commitment, Victor E. Mouttet Limited and Mariott International.
Courtyard Jamaica will occupy 1.5 acres of land adjacent to the National Housing Trust. Construction is expected to take 18 months, in time for opening to meet the 2015 winter tourist season.