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An improvement in tourist arrivals should boost Jamaica's net international reserves going forward. (File photo)

Jamaica to welcome 5 million tourists in 2020; hotel rooms to double in 10 years – Bartlett

An improvement in tourist arrivals should boost Jamaica's net international reserves going forward. (File photo)

Jamaica will welcome five million tourists next year, and see its hotel room stock double within 10 years, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett.

Marriott International will open two all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.

Bartlett said this is attributable to coming developments such as the 2000-room Princess Hotel in Hanover; the 1700-room Hard Rock Casino Hotel in St James; Harmony Cove in Trelawny with 3,000 rooms; and the Marriot International all-inclusive resort with 800 rooms.

Approximately 50,000 jobs will be created which, along with the significant investment of the respective projects, will help to boost the country’s economy, Bartlett told the Jamaica Information Service at the recent Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit in Montego Bay, St James.

One of several Sandals Resorts properties in Jamaica. (Photo: Sandals)

“These are hard prospects. These are people who have already bought lands and are in the process of getting approval through the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the other regulatory agencies of Jamaica. So we know that this is going to happen; this is going to be an explosion for us,” he said.

When combined with the projected cruise ship arrivals increase by 2023, he said stakeholders should be ready to take advantage of this anticipated growth.

Bartlett said approximately 50,000 jobs will be created with the coming developments. (Photo: Sandals)

“We are now [at] 4.4 million arrivals… [and] by next year we would have passed the five (million mark). When the cruise development comes, which is a whole new game to talk about in terms of what Falmouth will look like in 2022 to 2023, we are expecting to double the arrivals for cruise. We are expecting to see two million arrivals in Falmouth alone,” he said.

The Marriott Hotel will be built within the, Amaterra Resort, a mixed-use development. Construction is expected to begin early next year and completed in 2022.

-JIS