First Look

Minister Bartlett Hails Hotel Four Seasons At 60

Ministry of Tourism | 2018-07-31 12:27:00

Hailing the Hotel Four Seasons as a standard-bearer for small properties in Kingston, Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett said the 60th anniversary of the landmark hotel comes at a time when we are seeing a renaissance in tourism development in the island’s capital.
“Small hotels remain central to the experience of the destination and continue to play a pivotal role in attracting a particular demographic into our space,” said Minister Bartlett, speaking last Friday (July 27) at a cocktail reception to mark the New Kingston hotel’s anniversary.  “We recognize therefore the pioneering role of Hotel Four Seasons in building out that cadre of small hotels and particularly creating Kingston as that space that now is becoming a very popular and desired destination,” he added.
Of Jamaica’s more than 200 hotels currently in operation, some 164 are small and medium sized properties with 200 rooms or less. These hotels account for approximately one third of Jamaica’s current room stock.
Allaying any concerns of overtourism as is happening in some European cities, the Tourism Minister pledged that tourism would not happen at the expense of the people of the country. “We have to make sure we build the product so that we remain not only a discerning destination but a distinctive destination, a desirable destination and one in which people have a livable and moveable space,” he said.
Minister Bartlett praised the hotel’s founders, German-born sisters Christa Lundh and the late Helga Stoeckert, for their commitment to local suppliers. “Helga and Christa bought from the local farmers and the local suppliers and in so doing helped to keep the dollar in Jamaica and that is very important to us. This is the retention capacity that we are talking about of the US dollar earned.   We retain it when we supply on the demand of tourism, we lose it when we import and bring in foreign goods to supply the needs of the tourist,” noted Minister Bartlett.
“We are committed to making sure that the benefits of tourism accrue to the people of the destination because tourism has that capacity to become like a plantation where the benefits of tourism are repatriated with the flights that come in with the visitors.
“We are determined to build through our linkages the absorptive capacity within our economy to make sure that the supplies that the visitor requires are sourced locally, created locally and become the creative output of the people of Jamaica,” said Minister Bartlett.
Noting the growth of Hotel Four Seasons from four rooms to 114, Minister Bartlett praised the management and staff for its excellent service to the tourism sector as well as the local community.
The anniversary function was attended by family, friends, suppliers, representatives of corporate Jamaica and tourism stakeholders, including the former Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall; Daniela and Mike Bauer, Directors of Hotel Four Seasons; the Right Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson, Anglican Suffragan of Kingston; and Camille Needham, Executive Director of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).

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