Karisma Hotel and Resorts adds 140 rooms to Negril’s hotel stock
THE number of rooms in the hotel sector has been boosted by an additional 140 units, with the opening of the first Sensatori Hotel by Karisma Hotel and Resorts, in Negril, Westmoreland, on Monday.
Karisma owns and manages five other Sensatori Resorts in the world, with Sensatori Negril being the first of the group to be established in the English-speaking Caribbean. The hotel chain is part of the TUI Travel PLC group.
Addressing the official opening ceremony, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr Wykeham McNeill, lauded the partnership between Jamaica and TUI Travel PLC, the largest tour operator in Europe.
He noted that the partnership has resulted in many visitors to the island during the winter months, and a strong European market during the summer months.
"So, it's an ideal (partnership), and over the last two years this relationship has grown," the minister added.
He said the original relationship centred on airlift to Jamaica, an area which has been growing, and has led to further discussions covering other investments.
"The results have been phenomenal, TUI has moved from two flights per week to Jamaica to four. They are increasing the airlift into Jamaica out of the UK, and what they have done for Jamaica is phenomenal," he argued.
Dr McNeill said coming out of those discussions are plans to bring in the Thompson Cruises to Jamaica.
"This would add a whole new dimension, because you would set sail and stay, where figures are showing that 30 per cent of persons who come down will also take a vacation and stay," he added.
The minister noted that the arrival of the Sensatori brand in Jamaica has added to the belief that Jamaica is moving into being a high-end product.
"Here you have the largest European Tour operator, signalling that they are sending their premium brand as the first to Jamaica...this sends a good message," Dr McNeill said.
Meanwhile, Managing Director for TUI, Cayman Islands, David Burling, described Jamaica as TUI's fastest growing Caribbean destination, noting that TUI has actually doubled its numbers from the UK market to Jamaica since 2011.
He added that TUI will be moving to six flights a week by this summer and eight flights plus a cruise operation by the winter months, with port base being Montego Bay.