Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is praising the work being done by Sandals Resorts International (SRI), in helping to build and promote brand Jamaica on the world stage.
Addressing the opening of the re-branded Sandals Ochi Beach Resort in St. Ann on Monday, June 1, Mrs. Simpson Miller said Jamaicans can be proud of what she describes as a “home grown brand” that has taken on the world.
The Prime Minister said because of the reputation that the 34 year-old company has built, the brand is in high demand to become a part of many islands across the Caribbean.
“I know that it must be the ambition of every island and mainland country in the Caribbean to have a Sandals property added to the mix of their tourism offerings. Sandals now operate in seven Caribbean countries and continues to expand and explore exciting new opportunities throughout our region,” Mrs. Simpson Miller noted.
The former Sandals Grande Rivera Beach and Villa Golf Resort, which was opened in 1989, now rebranded as Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, is the largest property in the chain with 529 rooms and a staff compliment of 900.
The Prime Minister said Sandals Ochi Beach Resort holds the reputation of being the location where the Sandals brand was fashioned, refined and exported to the world.
She commended the company for the large sum invested in rebranding Sandals Ochi as well as in other properties across the island over the past five years.
“I think it is remarkable that the Sandals Group has come home to its roots to invest another US$60 million for the total make over and renovation of its largest resort. What is even more notable is that beyond this specific investment in Sandals Ochi, Sandals Resorts International has invested some US$156 million in Jamaica in the past five years,” the Prime Minister informed
As it relates to the world tourism sector, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the outlook is very positive, with the industry projected to grow by 3.8 per cent annually up to the year 2020.
“Based on what Sandals is doing here, I am sure we will exceed that figure,” the Prime Minister added.
Mrs. Simpson Miller said the efforts of the local tourism players, including Sandals Resorts International, have shown that there is no lack of commitment to capitalise on Jamaica’s reputation as a global leader in tourism.
By Marlon Tingling
Photo by: Marlon Tingling