Mon | Jul 22, 2019

MBJ eyeing business hotel near MoBay airport

Published:Thursday | May 30, 2019 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

MBJ Airports Limited, the consortium operating the Montego Bay-based Sangster International Airport in St James, is now hunting investors to build a 160-room hotel targeting business tourists.

Sharon Hislop-Holt, manager of commercial business development and marketing at MBJ, said the consortium is seeking to fill a glaring vacuum for business visitors who prefer to not stay at all-inclusive hotels.

“One of the projects that we are looking at in terms of land development is a business hotel in the Montego Bay region,” said Hislop-Holt, who was speaking after the recent opening of the renovated check-in hall of the Sangster International Airport. “We have mainly all-inclusive hotels, and we think a business hotel could definitely serve the needs of some passengers.”

MBJ is eyeing land located in the proximity of the airport and is currently doing a feasibility study on the project.

“We have approximately 300 acres of land space between the roundabout of the airport that extends on Sunset Boulevard for development, and we have undertaken a hotel study where the result showed that a hotel of approximately 160 rooms, a three-, four-star-type hotel would be one that would be suitable for the airport and its environments and the type of clientele that could potentially use that facility,” said Hislop-Host.

“There are some passengers who come. They don’t want to stay in an all-inclusive resort,” she explained. “We also have a lot of business persons who come here, and they don’t have many options outside of an all-inclusive resort.”

According to Hislop-Holt, MBJ, which is halfway through its 30-year lease with the Airports Authority of Jamaica to operate Sangster, is looking at the full spectrum of clients that a business hotel would serve.

“We also have the crew of the airlines who stay in various hotels, so being at the airport in walking distance from the terminal building would be an ideal investment,” she said. “We are thinking as well of other agencies that a business hotel would definitely serve.”

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