Jamaican Hoteliers Optimistic for a Good Winter as Occupancies Trend Upwards

Some hotels in Jamaica are reporting between 60-90% occupancy through a combination of local and international guests and this is fuelling optimism for a healthy 2020 winter tourism season Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett has said.

He was giving a Destination Jamaica update at the virtual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) on Monday.

Noting that the hoteliers have reported “numbers reaching nearly 90% around holiday weekends”, Bartlett said that “several hotels are redefining the meaning of luxury to accommodate more private experiences. These include Eclipse at Half Moon, a major new luxury property at the resort that provides the luxury of space, privacy and peace of mind with meticulous health and safety protocols.”

The Minister also pointed to renovation underway at the former Oceana Hotel in Kingston to be rebranded ROK-Kingston – a 168 room property overlooking Kingston’s waterfront, to be managed by Hilton Hotels through its Tapestry Collection trademark.

“It will be part of a multipurpose complex including retail, onsite entertainment and commercial office space”, he explained.

Noting other developments at Chukka Cove in Ocho Rios, the additional expansion of high-end hotels along the Elegant Corridor in Montego Bay and other planned development expansion in Trelawny and St. Ann, Minister Bartlett said “we have been working tirelessly and efficiently to provide a Jamaica that is safe and enjoyable to all, in recovery and beyond.”

Meanwhile, noting that “Jamaica is a destination that always seeks to punch above its weight, Nicola Madden Greig, Chair, JAPEX Organizing Committee and Past President of the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association (JHTA) said that despite COVID-19 Jamaica is not only poised “to regain market share and survive but also, to thrive.”

She said that “2020 was the most difficult and challenging year ever for tourism and the world, forcing us to reimagine JAPEX and present for the first time ever, a totally virtual experience.”

Pointing to the record attendance this year of over 2000 participants including tour operators, travel agents, local supplier companies and media delegates, Mrs. Madden Greig said the participation proved the continued strength of brand Jamaica with international partners from a range of countries including: USA, Canada, Spain, Russia, China, India, Australia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Mexico and the UK.