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'Loss of Ritz-Carlton brand detracts from Jamaica's offering'

Published:Thursday | May 9, 2013 | 12:39 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says the imminent loss of the Ritz-Carlton brand from Jamaican shores will be a detraction from the country’s tourism product offering.

Yesterday, news emerged that effective May 20, The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, in Rose Hall, St James will no longer operate under The Ritz-Carlton brand forcing 400 persons out of their jobs.

JHTA resident, Evelyn Smith says there must be diversity in Jamaica’s product offering and the loss of the high-end global brand takes away from what Jamaica has to offer.

She explains that there are certain high-end customers who will only associate themselves with recognised international brands such as The Ritz-Carlton which influences how they vacation.

In a statement yesterday, Opposition Spokesman on Tourism, Edmund Bartlett questioned if new investors Playa Hotels and Resorts, a Virginia-based company, will fit the profile and be of equal stature.

He argued that the loss of the Ritz brand coupled with the failure of the Palmyra development is a double blow for the prospects of the Elegant Corridor fulfilling its promise of being the high-end destination of Jamaica.

Bartlett called on Tourism Minister, Dr Wykeham McNeill, to move quickly to dispel what he called the  pale of doubt hovering over destination Jamaica at this time.


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