Monday, 06 Feb 2023

Spanish Hotel Firms Will Build Jamaica Worker Housing says Tourism Minister

Several resort operators commit to build housing to support tourism growth


Spanish Hotel Firms Will Build Jamaica Worker Housing says Tourism Minister

Spanish hotel companies operating in Jamaica will build 2,000 residential units for local hotel workers and their immediate families said Edmund Bartlett, the country's minister of tourism.

In a meeting held at last week's FITUR tourism conference in Madrid, Bartlett said the growth of Jamaica-based resort properties operated by Grand Palladium Resorts, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Iberostar Group, The Excellence Collection, H10 Hotels, Melia Hotels International and Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts over the last several years have created a "serious and worsening shortage of appropriate" employee housing.

"Through Spanish hoteliers and other hotel investors combined, we are now seeing firm commitments for the housing for hotel workers," he said in a January 21 Jamaica Observer interview.

Bartlett said the Spanish operators have "recognized" the need for "appropriate" worker housing that is "comfortable" and within proximity of employees' jobs.

Hoteliers acknowledge their resorts cannot operate "at an optimal level" without new worker housing options as Jamaica's visitor arrivals grow, Bartlett said.

He said labor, worker housing, agriculture and infrastructure will be "primary focus areas" to ensure "sustainable growth in Jamaica's tourism sector in coming years."

Bartlett and Spanish hotel owners also discussed "labor, global and local supply chain challenges, agriculture and road infrastructure issues," according to the Observer report.

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