Spanish hoteliers commit support for local products

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Spanish hoteliers commit support for local products

Thursday, January 23, 2020

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Owners and senior executives of the largest hotels and resorts in Jamaica under the Inverotel umbrella, an association representing Spanish hoteliers, have committed to expanding their purchasing and support for local products and services.

The hotel operators met with Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and other local tourism officials in Spain's capital city, Madrid yesterday morning.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Tourism, the Spanish investors made the commitment while stressing the importance of quality, good pricing and consistency in the items.

The investors also indicated a strong willingness to work with the Jamaican Government in partnering with local businesses on the establishment of efficient and well run farming operations to better supply the tourism industry.

The Spanish investors included the owners' of three of the largest hotels in the Jamaica— Grupo Pinero, owners of Bahia Principe, Encarna Pinero, who also chairs Inverotel; Iberostar's, Miguel Fluxa; and Grand Palladium's, Abel Matutes.

Bartlett revealed that major findings of a recent study indicated that Jamaica's tourism sector total value of demand for agricultural products amounted to $39.6 billion and a whopping $352 billion for manufactured products.

The tourism demand study was designed to identify the existing/potential demand in the tourism sector for goods and services across local sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and entertainment. The study was conducted through the Ministry's Tourism Linkages Council.

The ministry said Spanish hotel investors have pumped approximately US$1.7 billion or J$238 billion into the Jamaican economy in recent years and represent 25 per cent of the hotel rooms.

The ministry added that a further US$750 million or J$105 billion in investments representing an additional 3,000 rooms is already in motion with the continued development of the new Spanish owned H10 resort in Trelawny and the planned development of the island's largest resort by Princess Resorts in Hanover.

Owner of Iberostar, Miguel Fluxa, commended Bartlett's leadership noting that it “is the very base of Jamaica's outstanding tourism product over the years”.

The ministry said among other matters discussed at the high level engagement are work permits, beach protection, workers training, the Government's new pension plan and enhanced coordination and integration with civil society.

Bartlett is currently in Spain participating in FITUR, the largest International Tourism Trade Fair for inbound and outbound Ibero-American markets.

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