Trelawny Northern MP says he is being slighted by gov't, investors and local authority

Observer West reporter

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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CORAL SPRING, Trelawny— Whilst welcoming the growing number of hotel rooms in his constituency, People's National Party (PNP) Member of Parliament for Trelawny Northern Victor Wright, is charging that he is not been kept in the loop by government, local municipality and investors about planned infrastructural developments in the hospitality sector in his constituency.

This, he claims, is preventing him from preparing constituents to seize employment opportunities.

“The prospects for employment are good, but residents are not benefiting as they should. Since been elected there has been little to no contact between myself and the developers, and I've never been briefed by any government agency nor the [Trelawny] municipal corporation. I'm therefore not fully able to direct prospective employees from the constituency neither during the construction nor operating phases,” Wright, a first-time member of parliament contended.

He was speaking with the Jamaica Observer West following the ground-breaking ceremony for the development of the new US$250 million investment from Spanish Hotel chain, H10, in Coral Spring in the parish last week.

Construction is already underway by the H10 Hotel chain to construct 1,000 new rooms.

The hotel, which is expected to complete 500 rooms by the end of the year, will be called Ocean Coral Spring. The project is expected to initially provide some 1,500 jobs during construction and later over 1,200 permanent jobs.

“I am very happy for, and welcome the investments. We've seen a steady increase in the number of hotel rooms which underscores the importance and strategic location of Trelawny to the development of the tourism industry,” Wright argued.

During the ground breaking ceremony Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett announced that Trelawny is poised to become the parish with the second highest number of hotel rooms, behind St James. He disclosed that the room stock in the parish, which now stands at over 2,000, is slated for further expansion, and should be close to 8,000 over the next three to five years.

“The advent of H10 will bring with it a number of other investment properties over the next few months. Trelawny in the next three years will have the second largest inventory of tourism rooms in Jamaica. Because the expansion of Royalton is on track, another 1,200 rooms, 600 on each side. The expansion of Oyster Bay is on track, another 500 rooms; then there is Amatara next door which will start with 1,200 rooms and then there is Harmonisation to come with another 2,000 or so rooms. In addition to what exists, that's pretty close to 8,000 (hotel rooms) that will be in Trelawny in the next three to five years,” said an upbeat tourism minister.

In fact, Bartlett argued that he is now compelled to soon declare Trelawny as a destination and resort area, as a result of the developments taking place in the parish.

“I am now at the point where we have to declare Trelawny as the newest destination and resort area of Jamaica,” he stressed.

Additionally, construction is currently underway in Falmouth for Jamaica's first artisan village on lands which have been donated by the Port Authority of Jamaica, and will be adjacent to the new Falmouth Cruise Ship Port. The project is estimated to cost US$5.7 million.

“This wave of investment in tourism will be of epochal proportion because it will be twice the size of the first wave that came in the late 1990s and early 2000,” Bartlett declared last week.

He underscored that this new wave of investment which will bring nearly 15,000 rooms to Jamaica over the next five years, “will be characterised also with investment in the supply side to enable the Jamaicans to supply more of the inputs of tourism so that the value added from tourism can remain in the economy of Jamaica”.

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