MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – After recently announcing plans to undertake the largest single hotel development in Jamaica’s history, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has revealed that the Master Plan for its US$900 million mega multiple-hotel development in Llandovery, St. Ann is ready and they are set to break ground in January 2017 for the first three hotels.
Under the ‘Sugar Cane Project’, Karisma plans to build 10 hotels over 10 years, with a total of 5,000 rooms. Direct employment will be created for 10,000 Jamaicans.
Speaking during a meeting with Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at the Private Jet Centre on the grounds of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Lubo Krstajic, Executive Chief of Sales and Marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, said applications for the required permits have already been submitted for processing and consultations continue with the relevant authorities.
He said they are hopeful that the approval process for the permits for the development, which is the first project under the Ministry of Tourism’s “Shovel-Ready Programme,” will be completed by November, 2016 to enable them to meet the January timeline to break ground for the three hotels which will have a combined 1,800 rooms. With land preparation, construction should start by March 2017. This will coincide with the opening of Karisma’s 149-room Azul 7 hotel, now in the final stages of construction in Negril at a cost of US$45 million.
Minister Bartlett welcomed the news that Karisma is now ready to get the project off the ground, pointing out that it represents the largest single investment in the tourism industry.
The Karisma Sugar Cane Project will also signal increased air seats out of Europe. Minister Bartlett stressed that the Karisma investment aligned well with the Ministry’s goals of generating earnings of US$5 billion and securing five million visitors by 2021.
“The importance of this is the partnership with TUI which is the largest tour operator in the world operating a successful airline as well. We are seeing the mix required to ensure that the arrivals that we are projecting will materialize, and the earnings that we want will also come,” he said.
Minister Bartlett also indicated that “there are several other announcements that are going to be made over the next couple of weeks as more of the investors that we have spoken to in the last six months start arriving in Jamaica to identify projects and areas that they are going to be building.” He said partners have also been engaged who will be able to give definitive timelines in which projects will begin.
The Shovel-Ready Initiative has been undertaken jointly by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) and Commissioner of Lands to pre-package a number of investment offerings.