Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the new 220-room AC Marriott Kingston Hotel development, represents the type of investment that is designed to create economic opportunities and address social issues such as unemployment, which the Government is focused on promoting.
The US$55 million hotel, which slated to be officially opened on Monday (June 17), resulted from a partnership forged between the Sandals Resorts International Group, headquartered in Jamaica, and global hotel chain, Marriott International.
Mr. Holness who, on Friday (June 14) toured the establishment, situated on Lady Musgrave Road, with Sandals Group Deputy Chairman, Adam Stewart, highlighted the fact that 219 of the 220 employees are Jamaicans.
He told JIS News that information on their background suggest that “many of them are young people who were not employed before or had no prospects before”.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that a number of them are coming from households, “which, probably, did not have an income before”, adding that “prospectively, for the next five years, they now have an income”.
“It’s very important that the public understand the synergy between economic investment and social development. This is not just an investment that is going to [yield] profit for an investor. It is an investment that will provide income for households… placing people at the centre of development. All in all, I think everyone wins with this kind of development,” he added.
Mr. Holness further pointed out that State agencies and initiatives such as the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), HEART Trust/NTA, and Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme, were pivotal in preparing and positioning them for consideration and selection.
For his part, Mr. Stewart said the Group is pleased with the high calibre team of employees who have been recruited, noting that “many of them [are] recent school leavers in the last several years”.
He said training for the staff has been facilitated through development programmes provided by Marriott International, as well as the Sandals Corporate University.
The service delivery focus areas include: banqueting, events, excursions, housekeeping, transportation, and tours.
“We have been able to prove in our company that Jamaica can compete at the absolute highest standards with training and development,” Mr. Stewart added.
Meanwhile, Mr Stewart said Sandals’ decision to embark on the hotel development stemmed from its view that “there has never been a better time to invest in Jamaica” noting, among other things, that “consumer confidence is at an all-time high”.
“We feel more proud and confident today than the day we turned the soil on this project. Jamaica continues to rise and I think that under the leadership of our Honourable Prime Minister, the future of Jamaica is [going to experience] a boom. The next generation of Jamaicans should feel very proud to be a part of this journey… it’s quite awesome,” he added.
Mr. Stewart told JIS News that reservations have already been received for approximately 20 per of the rooms, while the establishment has been booked for over 40 conferences and events.
He advised that the conference facilities can comfortably accommodate over 600 persons
Source: JIS News