Shamir Brown – Trelawny Correspondent
Trelawny will see a significant expansion in tourism room stock with the foresighted developments setting it on a trajectory to become number two in the island in about three to five years.
Over the course of the next three to five years just fewer than eight thousand rooms will join the already existing room stock in the parish. “Royalton will be expanded by another twelve hundred rooms, Oyster Bay by five hundred rooms, Amatera with twelve hundred rooms and Harmonization with two thousand plus rooms, which will contribute to making Trelawny the second largest destination in Jamaica,” said Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett.
Currently, Trelawny has over a thousand rooms, but the Minister disclosed that Trelawny will fall only behind St James when the proposed work comes to fruition.
He was addressing stakeholders in the industry at the official ground-breaking for the new H10 hotel located at Coral Spring in the parish on Wednesday February 6.
The H10 resort, dubbed Ocean Coral Spring, is expected to open its doors in the 2019/2020 winter tourist season and will add one thousand rooms to the stock in the parish. It comes on the heels of Excellence Oyster Bay, which opened its doors to visitors late last year when it opened in the parish and an expansion of Royalton room stock was completed during the course of the year.
The Minister, however, pointed out that more rooms are also scheduled for St James and there are plans to break ground for a development in Hanover later this year. Other parishes are also set to have more rooms constructed over the course of the next few years. This development, he explained, is part of a second wave of investments in the tourism sector with the first one happening in the nineties and early two thousands. However, this time, the size of the current investment can be categorized as twice the size of the first one. This new wave, he purports, will bring over fifteen thousand rooms to Jamaica over the next five years.
Minister Bartlett further highlighted that H10 is coming at a time when Jamaica is better prepared for this new wave of tourism development with more trained individuals now in the workforce. “To match the planned development, it is going to require thirty thousand direct jobs, and pretty close to a hundred thousand indirect,” he remarked.
The Minister also used the opportunity to declare that Trelawny is to get its resort and destination status that will bring with it certain benefits, one of which will be branding. This will allow Trelawny to be placed on the tourism map for visitors to see and therefore aid the building of the brand for the parish. “We are going to be marketing this area with a special appeal,” he remarked.
This news has been welcomed by Member of Parliament for North Trelawny, Victor Wright, who described it as a good thing for the parish. He described the developments as meaningful for the parish and looks forward to welcoming more investors in similar fashion. Mayor Colin Gager was also happy for the news and disclosed that the Corporation would work as best to assist in getting Trelawny destination status.