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Spanish Investor Inverotel Commits US$2 Billion to Jamaica Tourism

image courtesy of Jamaica Tourism Ministry
Written by Linda Hohnholz

Spanish-led tourism resort initiatives valued at $2 billion (equivalent to J$310 billion) will begin construction in the current year. These initiatives are expected to create over 19,000 positions, encompassing both temporary and permanent roles, during the entire development and operational stages.

Some of the projects will incorporate housing for staff and foster strong partnerships with farmers and other local suppliers. These initiatives aim to improve sustainability, tackle crucial shortages, and integrate local perspectives across various sectors.

Recently, the owners of different companies, who are members of the Spanish Hotel Association, Inverotel, disclosed information regarding their upcoming projects to Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, and other high-ranking tourism officials in Madrid, Spain

These investments do not include other major investments by Jamaican investors like Sandals and American, Mexican, Canadian, Chinese and other foreign investors. The Minister was joined by senior tourism officials John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB); Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor and Strategist, Ministry of Tourism, and other JTB management personnel.

“We will continue in our efforts to attract tourism investments and see to it that the benefits of tourism are properly spread throughout the economy. Given this rapid rate of growth and development, a very solid approach is being taken in tying housing, agriculture and firmer linkages in the provision of goods and services to the benefit of even more Jamaicans. I will have more to say on this in the coming weeks and months as we have a lot of issues to sort through, as right now some micro, small, medium and big companies are struggling to keep up with current demands from the sector,” Bartlett noted.

The Spanish-led projects cover major resort developments spanning the parishes of Hanover and St. Ann; the expansion of Grand Palladium Hotel and Resorts, with the construction of two new high-end resorts with approximately 1,000 suites in Lucea, employee housing and farming collaboratives with residents; the development of a 700-suite Secrets resort in St. Ann and the game-changing Pinero family-led development around Grand Bahia in St. Ann, which will be one of the largest resort and real estate development projects ever executed in the Caribbean and Latin America. That project represents a massive expansion of their existing Bahia Principe product in St. Ann to include new hotels, villas, a PGA-certified 18-hole golf course, a state-of-the-art fisherman’s village, farms, modern employee residences and educational facilities among other facilities and amenities. 

Senior Advisor and Strategist, Delano Seiveright, noted that, labor, tourism worker training, roads, airport flow and infrastructure, building permit and related bureaucratic issues, linkages – specifically shortages of goods, including agricultural produce, meats, beer, rum and other items, dominated discussions with Spanish hotel stakeholders.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (2nd r) is presented with plans for the expansion of Grand Palladium Resort in Hanover with two new luxury Hotels totaling some 1,000 rooms by Abel Matutes, President of Palladium Hotel Group. Sharing in the moment are Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor and Strategist, Ministry of Tourism, and Salvador Ortiz de Montellano, Director of Palladium Hotel Group. The presentation took place at the Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques in Madrid, Spain, on Friday, January 26.

Earlier in January Minister Bartlett piloted a public and private sector initiative to build capacity and systematically address pain points across the tourism sector.  The four focus areas are public order in tourism spaces, visitor facilitation, tourism housing and human resources. There are also significant cross-government efforts that incorporate coordination with the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment and its agency JAMPRO.

Bartlett was leading a small delegation of Tourism officials at FITUR 2024, in Madrid, Spain, a major tourism fair with 8,000 exhibitors, 130 countries represented and over 300,000 attendees. It represents one of the largest gatherings of tourism professionals globally and is the leading fair for Latin America’s receptive and issuing markets.

SEEN IN MAIN IMAGE:  Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (c-front) pauses for a photo with Head of Inverotel, Mrs. Encarna Pinero (2nd r-front), Abel Matutes, President of Palladium Hotel Group (2nd left); John Lynch, Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board (l-front) and Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor and Strategist, Ministry of Tourism (r-front) and leaders of

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