Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Omar Robinson launches hospitality services company

Published:Friday | October 16, 2020 | 12:05 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau:

Three weeks after demitting office as president of the country’s largest tourism sector group, Omar Robinson has launched the Caribbean’s newest hospitality services company.

Robinson, a four-term Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association head, is now chief operating officer of Arya Resorts Management Company Limited.

The former general manager of the award-winning Round Hill Hotel and Villas, where he spent over 17 years, said this latest move was a culmination of three decades of ambitions, to bring his extensive knowledge of Caribbean tourism into that of providing ‘best-in-class’ hospitality solutions across the English territories of the region.

Robinson, who also served on numerous government boards in the Ministry of Tourism, and who left Round Hill on September 30, said timing was significant to him and the team of Arya.

He told The Gleaner that the company will operate across several tourism-focused units.

“The acquisition and/or management of hotel and resort properties; providing hospitality consultation services to include property turnarounds, service quality and regulatory aligned audits, team member training and recruitment, and hospitality supply chain management,” he said were among the offerings Arya will deliver to the industry.

The launch comes at a time when the tourism sector is facing its biggest challenge of all times; low occupancy caused by COVID-19, which has devastated businesses worldwide.

“Arya’s launch in the middle of a global pandemic was without doubt a difficult decision, but at the same time, it also presents with immense opportunities,” Robinson admitted, noting that tourism businesses, large or small, although challenged, were bringing into sharp focus the need for current operators to completely re-evaluate their business models.

“Unfortunately, even with tourism being a mature industry in most Caribbean countries, there doesn’t exist a dedicated tourism consultancy outfit that can identify with their circumstances, even while crafting workable and unique solutions that are borne out of decades of experience, acquired through managing multiple tourism businesses, spanning hotels, attractions, transportation and supplies.”

Arya, he said, was also expecting that with the economic shock created by the pandemic, there will be a fair amount of tourism properties changing hands. To that end, Arya is putting itself in a position whereby it can acquire those assets that fit the profile of its hotel/resort business channel.

“In preparation for this investment push, we have engaged Croskery Capital Limited as a financial adviser and look forward to working closely with the financial sector as we all do what we can to assist with the rebound of this critical industry,” Robinson told The Gleaner.

In the coming weeks, he expects to announce additional directors to Arya’s executive team.