The Hon. Andrew Holness ON, MP
Official Opening of Breathless Montego Bay Resort and Spa
September 25, 2017
I’ve stayed at many hotels. My job affords me that at least and I must say that this is the one that leaves you breathless.
I’m very happy to be here with you this evening to officially open Breathless Montego Bay Resort and Spa where you can experience unlimited luxury to leave you breathless.
The demand for Jamaica’s tourism product continues to grow. Jamaica is aggressively expanding its tourism base by continuing to offer quality experience supported by a range of major infrastructure improvements to secure our place as the preferred destination in the Caribbean.
Today’s official opening of Breathless Montego Bay Resort and Spa is yet another signal that there is a premium on our various tourism offerings and that the government of Jamaica in collaboration with our partners in tourism will continue to expand and enhance our tourism sector in order to strengthen Jamaica’s place as a world leader in the industry.
I have to congratulate AM Resorts twice because you’ve made a record. I’ve never heard of one company opening two hotels in one day. You did Zoetry earlier and now Breathless. I will officially send this to the Guinness Book of World Records.
I want to congratulate the AM Resorts for choosing Jamaica as a home for Breathless. You’ve now expanded your footprint in Jamaica opening two hotels today; you now have six hotels in total, almost 1,500 rooms representing an investment of over US$300 million. This is a true sign of confidence in Jamaica.
Let me specifically applaud Alex, Chief Executive Officer of Apple Leisure Group (ALG) Hospitality Powerhouse comprised of in addition to AM Resorts, Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions, Amstar DMC and Unlimited Vacation. Alex thirty plus years of industry experience including eleven years as AM Resorts founder and president, have guided the group’s record breaking growth and secured Apple Leisure Group’s status as the world’s number one provider of North American leisure travellers to Mexico and the Caribbean.
We’re delighted that AM Resorts selected Jamaica as a destination of choice. Aggressive targets to secure five million visitors by 2021 and we hope that that will generate over five billion in tourism earnings and increase total direct jobs to a hundred and twenty-five thousand with at least fifteen thousand new rooms added.
Caribbean tourism broke new ground in 2016 surpassing 29 million arrivals for the first time ever and once again growing faster than the global average. Visitor expenditure also hit a new high, growing by an estimated 3.5 percent to reach US$35.5 billion.
Tourism is one of the very few industries in which the Caribbean region has both global competitive and comparative advantage and we must do all we can to make this sustainable. We must factor in disaster resilience, recovery and adaptation in a systematic and institutional way given our changing realities.
AM Resorts embraces the value of diversification at all levels, flexibility in business and linkages while constantly maintaining the best. AM Resorts has recognized that change is constant and therefore a planned with that in mind.
Jamaica also is taking a holistic approach to planned development recognizing the connections and the need to fix where necessary, whether infrastructure, safety and security, legislation and Alex we were talking about energy. Yes we recognize the need to bring our energy costs down and to continually improve our human resources and seeking to optimize for success as a leading and internationally competitive destination. This is why AM Resorts continues to build a success story with its expansion in Jamaica.
In order to be effective and efficient this government is intent on achieving the desired outcome and remains committed to catalysing private sector success, a sure way of moving our economy forward.
Jamaica is attaining the critical mass to maintain its competitiveness with increased room-stock, air connectivity, infrastructure, access and policy enablers which continue to be the facilitating levers that will ensure that Jamaica delivers exceptional value to our investors. With our strong brand image, appealing natural environment, exceptional human talent, cultural assets and the right investors at the right time in the right place; Jamaica has distinct advantages and without a doubt AM Resorts and Jamaica means business.
I thank you ladies and gentlemen.