Karisma to break ground for three hotels by January 2017
Karisma Resorts says it will break ground in January 2017 for three hotels, under its 'Sugar Cane Project', which will see the hotel group constructing 10 resorts over 10 years.
The group gave the commitment to tourism minister Edmund Bartlett during a meeting at the Private Jet Centre at the Sangster International Airport last Saturday, said a media release from the Ministry of Tourism.
This latest development, Bartlett says, follows recent announcements by Karisma to undertake the largest single hotel development in Jamaica's history.
The hotel group's Master Plan indicates it will spend US$900 million on a mega multiple-hotel development in Llandovery, St Ann. A total of 5,000 rooms are to be built, providing direct employment to some 10,000 Jamaicans over the period.
"Applications for the required permits have already been submitted for processing and consultations continue with the relevant authorities," Lubo Krstajic, executive chief of sales and marketing for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, was quoted as saying.
Krstajic expressed hope that the approval process for the permits for the development, which is the first project under the Ministry of Tourism's 'Shovel-Ready Programme,' will be completed by November 2016, to enable them to meet the January timeline to break ground for the three hotels, which will have a combined 1,800 rooms.
"With land preparation, construction should start by March 2017. This will coincide with the opening of Karisma's 149-room Azul 7 hotel, now in the final stages of construction in Negril at a cost of US$45 million," said the release.
According to the release, Bartlett welcomed the news, stating that it represented the largest single investment in the tourism industry.
The Karisma Sugar Cane Project will also signal increased airline seats out of Europe, said the release, adding that the tourism minister stressed that the Karisma investment aligned well with the ministry's goals of generating earnings of US$5 billion and securing five million visitors by 2021.
"The importance of this is the partnership with TUI, which is the largest tour operator in the world which operates a successful airline as well. We are seeing the mix required to ensure that the arrivals that we are projecting will materialise, and the earnings that we want will also come," said Bartlett.
The Shovel-Ready Initiative has been undertaken jointly by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the Urban Development Corporation and Commissioner of Lands to pre-package a number of investment offerings.