First Look

Spanish Hoteliers Committed to Buying Locally

Ministry of Tourism | 2018-11-22 14:11:00

Spanish Hoteliers and investors have recommitted to buying more local goods and services following a meeting on Friday with Ministry of Tourism officials. The meeting, which sought to discuss various issues impacting the sector, included key members of Inverotel, the association representing Spanish Hotel investors and operators, and other officials from the Ministries of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and Finance.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett who called the meeting said, “From our Spanish partners, Jamaica’s tourism industry has seen investments amounting to approximately US1.7billion and about 25% of the rooms built in Jamaica are the product of this Spanish investment.

It is necessary to have dialogue with these our stakeholders to ensure that we are all on the same page to achieve the kind of growth being targeted and having more local purchases from our partners will benefit our local tourism suppliers and lead to greater economic gains.”

Discussions from the meeting included training and certification of staff, strengthening linkages, especially in manufacturing and agriculture, security, ground transportation, custom duties and entertainment.

The Spanish hoteliers pointed out that although Jamaica’s average daily rates were among the highest in the region, tourism costs were also high. It was also highlighted by Minister Bartlett that some adjustments are coming including the lowering of those costs.

President of Inverotel, Encarna Pinero, who lead the presentations by the group, said “We would like to be seen as being on the same side as the Ministry of Tourism as real contributors to the economy and development of the country.”

Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Josep Maria Bosch added that, “Bilateral relations between Jamaica and Spain can only get better and we share the importance of tourism and development.”

To ensure demands in agricultural produce are met, the Tourism Agrilinkages Exchange Project (ALEX) app was highlighted as a solution to the group. ALEX is an online platform created to facilitate the purchase and exchange of goods between farmers and buyers within the local hotel industry.

“With the use of this innovative platform, we will be able to bring our local suppliers and Spanish hoteliers closer to do business all under one roof. Also, through JAMPRO we will connect with Inverotel’s list of suppliers, which will ensure we meet the heavy demands of the sector,” added Minister Bartlett.

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