You are here
Tourism Upswing Brings Demand For More Rooms
KINGSTON (JIS) -- Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the steady growth in the tourism sector will necessitate the construction of 10,000 additional rooms to accommodate visitors to the island. Speaking during an interview with JIS News, Minister Bartlett said the aim is to have about 30,000 rooms available in the sector by the end of 2020. “I think we need immediately 2,000 (new) rooms and then to expand at a rate of 2,000 (per year) for the next five years,” he said. Jamaica currently has approximately 20, 000 hotel rooms, some 85 percent of which are in the all-inclusive sector. The Tourism Ministry is forecasting a three percent increase in arrivals for the winter season which ran from December 15, 2015 to April 15, 2016, and is optimistic of increased growth for the upcoming summer period.
Minister Bartlett has also announced a five-point strategy to reposition the tourism sector to generate higher growth rates in visitor arrivals and earnings. Focus will be placed on tapping into new markets, developing new products, promoting investments, building partnerships, and developing human capital.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett informed that the Timeshare Act, passed in the House of Parliament some 18 months ago, is now operational.
He said the Ministry is collaborating with the Real Estate Board, Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) and other partners to roll out a marketing programme aimed at attracting developers and purchasers both locally and overseas.
“A special committee, which comprises representatives from the Ministry and these key entities, has been driving the process,” he indicated.
Minister Bartlett said there are two main objectives of the timeshare programme.
“First, it will give recognition to timeshare vacation schemes in the form of right-to-use agreements, which are timeshare contracts and deeds issued in relation to these agreements.
“Secondly, it regulates the marketing, promotion and provision of timeshare accommodations and will entail the establishment of a Timeshare Vacation Registry,” he informed.
A timeshare arrangement is a form of joint ownership, or right to the use of a property.
Timeshare properties are typically resort condominium units, with multiple parties holding rights to use the property.
Each sharer is allotted a period of time, typically one week, and usually the same time every year.
Mr. Bartlett said the initiative is part of continued efforts to diversify Jamaica’s tourism offerings, and bolster foreign exchange earnings.
Timeshare vacations will be regulated by the Real Estate Board.