• Sagicor Group and Playa Hotels and Resorts inked a US$200 million deal to construct 760 additional rooms over the next three years.
• Phase one of the US$110 million Excellence Oyster Bay Resort in Trelawny was opened with 31 rooms.
• Half Moon Hotel added 57 rooms, new restaurants and a great house, among other amenities, at its property at a cost of US$75 million.
• The 120-room Spanish Court Hotel in Montego Bay, and the 48-room R Hotel in Kingston are now complete.
Over $143 million has, to date, been spent on beach upgrades. These include:
• Marking Stone Beach, St. Mary – $38.3 million
• Lyssons Beach, St. Thomas – $49.6 million
• Boston, Portland – $27.8 million
• Burwood, Trelawny – $28 million
• Ground was also broken to upgrade Salem Beach in St. Ann at a cost of approximately $26 million
Hampden Wharf Development
• Ground was broken for a US$5.7 million project in Falmouth, which is the first of five artisan villages being developed islandwide with TEF funding.
• The TEF was restructured to operate as Jamaica’s Centre of Tourism Inno-vation. It will focus on facilitating innovative projects and developing iconic attractions islandwide.
Tourism Linkages Network
• The Ministry continued to strengthen links with other sectors, most notably agriculture, resulting in the inaugural Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival that featured samplings of coffee in various forms.
World Tourism Awards World’s Leading:
• Beach Destination, and Cruise Destination – Jamaica
• Luxury Hotel Villa – Fleming Villa at Golden Eye
• Villa Resort – Round Hill Hotel and Villas
• All-Inclusive Company – Sandals Resorts International
• Family Resort Brand – Beaches Resorts
• Caribbean Attraction Company – Island Routes Caribbean Adventures
• Adventure Tour Operator; and the Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) 2017 International Travel Award for Best Destination for Adventure Tourism – Chukka Caribbean Adventures.
Minister Bartlett received:
• The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Champions in Challenge Award in London. The award honours industry stakeholders who display exceptional leadership in making a difference to the sector.
• Caribbean Journal’s 2017 Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year
• PATWA’s Worldwide Tourism Minister of the Year.
• The inaugural Golden Tourism Day Award was presented to 56 industry professionals rendering service ranging from 50 to 67 years, for a combined 3,025 years.