Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett welcomes start on new RIU hotel

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett welcomes start on new RIU hotel

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has welcomed the start of construction on the RIU Aquarelle. The Spanish hotel chain is the first foreign investor to break ground for a hotel construction since the reopening of Jamaica’s tourism sector after the pandemic.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness led the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the hotel, situated near Falmouth.

“It makes you the first foreign investor to break ground in this wave of recovery. And that makes us very special,” Bartlett told Jamaica Observer during the ground-breaking ceremony.

He also noted that since the beginning of the bounce back of the sector, RIU Hotels has become the second, only to Sandals Resorts International (SRI), to break ground for hotel construction in the country.

“And you are the second to break ground in this wave. The first, of course, was our local star themselves, the Sandals group, that had the ground breaking for the 1,000 rooms, eventually,” Bartlett stated.


The tourism minister also lauded RIU as the country’s largest foreign investor in the tourism industry.

“And, with the groundbreaking today of this 700 room, it makes you definitely the largest foreign investor in tourism with 3,000 rooms and employing in excess of 2,000,” Bartlett said.

Earlier this year, Bartlett also welcomed the launch of a new strategic initiative from Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts-owners, Grupo Piñero, in the Caribbean.

Alongside partners from the IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Banco Popular Dominicano, the scheme will seek to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth through tourism in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

The agreement will result in an investment of US$200 million in Bahia resorts in both countries. The deal was possible as the three institutions share the belief that tourism can help local economies grow while simultaneously encouraging inclusive and sustainable tourism.

Last year Jamaica was voted ‘World’s Leading Family Destination’, ‘World’s Leading Wedding Destination’, ‘Caribbean’s Leading Destination’ and ‘Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board’ by voters of World Travel Awards.

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