Ground Broken for Multimillion US Dollar Boutique Resort Development in St. James

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, and Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, on Friday (November 25), broke ground for a multimillion US dollar boutique resort development – UNICO 18˚77˚ – in Lilliput, St. James.

The adults-only, all-inclusive hotel will provide approximately 451 additional rooms, including over-the-water bungalow accommodations aimed at attracting thousands more new tourists to Jamaica.
Additionally, the Spanish resort’s construction will see the employment of over 1,000 local skilled labourers, locally, and create more than 600 new permanent jobs in the tourism sector.

The project is the first of a series of programmed developments for owners, the RCD Hotels and AIC Hotel Group that will also be partnering with the Government to provide housing solutions for their workers.

“We are very much pleased to hear that you come to Jamaica with a social consciousness about housing for those 600-plus tourism workers,” said Mr. Holness, in his address during the groundbreaking ceremony.

He said it has often been the case where hotels are built for the comfort of visitors, but persons employed to provide that world class service to guests are, sometimes, living in uncomfortable and substandard conditions.

“If we are truly interested in building an excellent [tourism] product, then we must not only build rooms for visitors, but we also have to build rooms for the workers; and the Government has a key role to play in ensuring that we have houses… homes for the people who work in the industry,” the Prime Minister outlined.

“So, the investment is in our labour, our young people who will benefit from working on the site [and] in the housing. These are critical investments in the society that make the culture unique, that gives us the marketing edge that is eventually reflected in [the] bottom-line,” he added.

Mr. Holness said the presence of UNICO 18˚77˚ in Jamaica will add a new dimension to the country’s tourism product that, along with sun, sea and sand, adds stability, safety and security.
“So, it gives me great pleasure, ladies and gentlemen, to be… breaking ground again for, yet, another major hotel,” he stated.

For his part, Minister Bartlett said that along with UNICO 18˚77˚, the sector is anticipating the addition of a Hard Rock Casino and Resort and a Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company property.
He described these hotel chains as “real gamechangers” for tourism, not just in Montego Bay, but in Jamaica, as a whole.

“This investment is going to be a very powerful and productive and profitable one, because we in Jamaica are not just concerned about building tourism, we want to build it to another dimension.

We want to build the communities around with tourism, for there is no tourism without the community and this entire community here is part of the development process that is going to show Jamaica what the new tourism, post-COVID, is going to be like,” Mr. Bartlett pointed out.

RCD Hotels’ Vice President for Development, Rodrigo Chapur, said the Group is pleased that the UNICO brand is finally coming to Jamaica, noting that it brings a one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

He indicated that the Group has brands in the United Sates, Dominican Republic, and Mexico, and now Jamaica, where “we are very happy for this groundbreaking.”

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