Jamaica minister of tourism, Edmund Bartlett, has welcomed the launch of a new strategic initiative from Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts-owners, Grupo Piñero, in the Caribbean.
Alongside partners from the IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and Banco Popular Dominicano, the scheme will seek to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth through tourism in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.
The agreement will result in an investment of US$200 million in Bahia resorts in both countries.
The deal was possible as the three institutions share the belief that tourism can help local economies grow while simultaneously encouraging inclusive and sustainable tourism.
“Tourism is the fastest and most immediate convertible economic activity in the world.
“Therefore, this particular action today is so critical to the development of the Caribbean and the world.
“A statement is being made here about how we create the debt rearrangement and the financial infusion to enable faster recovery.
“That fast recovery must not be irresponsible, and that’s why the elements that deal with sustainability and resilience are so important,” said Bartlett.
The funding will assist Grupo Piñero in moving forward with the reopening and start-up of our hotels, as well as provide a boost in this stage of recovery and post-pandemic growth.
Similarly, a revitalisation of tourism activity in a sustainable manner that, in turn, allows for the attainment of a balance in the economic, social and environmental fields.
Bartlett commended the partners, noting that the alliance being formed will have positive returns for the people of Jamaica.
He shared that public-private collaborations of this nature are very important to boost the competitiveness of the sector and put tourism at the service of recovery in the most efficient way possible.
“I congratulate all the teams who are involved in this programme today.
“The recovery of tourism is going to be predicated on strong business responses - private-public partnerships that will enable sustainability,” said the minister.
Among those in attendance were president of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader; Dominican Republic minister of tourism, David Collado; chief executive of Grupo Piñero, Encarna Piñero; and senior advisor and strategist at the Jamaica ministry of tourism, Delano Seiveright.
Grupo Piñero is a Spanish tourism group founded by Pablo Piñero in 1977.
The company has 27 hotels worldwide, including Bahia Principe Grand, which is the largest hotel in Jamaica.
Bartlett is in Spain leading a small team to participate in the annual international travel and tourism tradeshow, FITUR.
During his visit to Madrid, the minister will meet with potential investors and key industry stakeholders.
These include Robert Cabrera, owner of the Princess Resort, regarding a 2,000-room development currently underway in Hanover; Diego Fuentes, chief executive of the Tourism Optimiser Platform; representatives of RIU Hotels & Resorts regarding a 700-room hotel in Trelawny, and other investors to discuss major projects in the pipeline.
He will also make several media appearances and meet with Spanish tour operators.