Nearshore Americas

Jamaica’s Tourism Sector Rebounds, Raising Hopes of More Jobs

Jamaica’s tourism industry is rebounding and several new hotels are under construction across the country, according to Jamaica’s Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips.

Jamaica’s tourism sector, a major source of revenue for the largest English speaking country in the Caribbean, suffered a downturn when recession hit the United States and Europe in 2008.

The minister stated that several international brands were investing a huge amount of money in the country’s tourism industry and adding around 1,500 hotel rooms in different locations across the country. Work has already begun on some projects, he said, while others are at various stages of completion.

“I am not referring to any of the projects that are linked to the potential of casino gaming,” he said. “I am talking about projects that are underway in relation to the expansion of the rooms. We are on the cusp of a boom,” reported Caribbean Journal quoting the minister as saying.

The minister also said that he would expect the country’s ICT and BPO sector to generate thousands of jobs in the coming days.

According to him, the government would inject more money into the banking system so as to stimulate growth in ICT and BPO sectors.

“Doing so would yield significant employment,” Phillips said last week at the Kingston Rotary Club’s Weekly Luncheon, according to the Caribbean Journal.

The Development Bank of Jamaica currently has about US$20 million for supporting the ICT and BPO sectors, but the minister said that funding would soon be exhausted in another two to three months.

He said his calculations were based on the number of applications received and approved.

The sectors, according to the minister, are likely to generate an additional 4,000 jobs in the coming days.

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“It is clear that there are tens of thousands of jobs that are available, and Jamaica has caught the attention, not only of the international community, but of the local investor community, as a viable centre for the establishment for the establishment of ICT/BPO operations,” Phillips said.

Another application is currently in the “final stages of consideration” and that would generate around 2,500 more jobs, Phillips said.

Staff Report

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