Thanks to a US$170 million investment at Jamaica’s main airports, tourists and local travelers departing the island are all set to benefit from two new world class luxury departure lounges.
Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston – located at Sangster International and Norman Manley International airports respectively - were officially launched earlier this year and will herald the addition of unprecedented luxury.
The brainchild of VIP Attractions’ founder and chief executive David Hall, and his business partner Carlos Moleon, the state of the art lounges will provide passengers with luxurious surroundings, business facilities and pampering services while awaiting flights.
In a unique twist to the international airport lounge concept, departing passengers will also be able to share in Jamaica’s rich culture, cementing positive memories of the island right up until take off.
Each lounge will showcase cultural exhibitions with imagery of food, musicians, celebrities and sporting icons, soundtracks capturing the history of Jamaican music and information on all things contributing to Jamaica’s worldwide brand appeal.
Hall - a former Digicel chief executive - is upbeat about the new venture.
“The feedback from travel industry stakeholders has been incredible,” said the Irishman and now Jamaican citizen.
“Already seven airlines have signed up to guarantee their VIP passengers easy access through the airports and a luxurious facility to relax in before boarding their flights.
“In addition, VIP Attractions has partnered with all the high end hotels along the North Coast to provide their premium guests with the opportunity to experience Club Montego Bay.”
As well as creating 45 jobs, the lounges will also generate much needed support for local causes.
All proceeds from the sale of photographs on display at the lounges will be donated to local charities.
Although the facilities are open to all travellers, of the approximately 2.3 million passengers who pass through the island’s two airports each year, the VIP Attractions team will target around 100,000 corporate travelers and professionals as well as returning guests to luxury resorts who will pay from US$30 for access to the lounges.
Jamaican minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett lauded the introduction of Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston.
He said: “Our global destination marketing efforts are strengthened by innovation and new ideas that keep the luxury traveler engaged and interested in making Jamaica their preferred vacation spot.
“VIP Attractions’ launch of Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston helps to position Jamaica as an even more attractive choice for our high end and returning tourists.
“The visitor experience begins on arrival at the airport right through to departure – and this is a great way to enhance that total experience.”
With some 10,100 square feet of space at Club Montego Bay and over 6,000 square feet at Club Kingston, features of the spacious, cutting edge design facilities will include:
Fast track through the airport followed by a personal escort to departure gates.
Complimentary wireless internet access and a high-tech business centre.
Jamaican themed, secure children’s play area.
A premium bar with complimentary refreshments.
Complimentary shower facilities.
Express spa services.
The VIP Attractions partnership with airlines offers access to the lounges for First Class and Business Class passengers.
Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, chairman of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), welcomed the move as a positive addition to Jamaica’s economic and business landscape.
He explained: “Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston represent a significant investment in Jamaica’s economy, not only in cash terms, jobs created and enhancing our tourism product, but also by boosting the nation’s image and marketability as a great place to do business.
“The best ideas and deals are not always brokered in the board room. That the lounges will also give back to Jamaica while providing corporate travelers with an additional work space and business facilities before boarding their flights can only be good for the country.”
Referring to the venture’s potential impact on Jamaica, Hall concluded: “As well as the lounges providing us with a final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on passengers leaving the island, Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston will play their part in uplifting Jamaica and ‘giving back’ by providing direct and indirect jobs, building a highly trained team of employees with first class customer service as their focus and enhancing the airports’ facilities without leaning on public funds from the Government and tax payers.”
Further details on Club Montego Bay and Club Kingston, as well as corporate packages, are available here.