Mexican firm puts $900M into Jamaica

Ruben Becerra of Karisma Hotels and Resorts announces project to add 4,000 rooms and 8,000 jobs.

MexicanKINGSTON, Jamaica – Karisma Hotels and Resorts announced it is investing more than US$900 million in a mega hotel project in St. Ann that will, over a decade, add 4,000 rooms to Jamaica’s tourism sector and provide at least 8,000 direct jobs.

Ruben Becerra, vice-president of corporate affairs and business development for the Mexican resort company which partners with TUI – the world’s largest tour operator – made the announcement at the Jamaica Tourist Board headquarters in Kingston.

He said his company’s decision to increase its investment in the island was driven by the fact that Jamaica is one of the three fastest-growing tourism destinations in the Caribbean.

“The three fastest-growing destinations in the Caribbean are Cancun, Dominican Republic, and Jamaica,” Becerra told journalists at a news conference. “People view these destinations as very safe.”

Jamaica, he added, already enjoys a good reputation and “the demand is there.”

Becerra said the new nine-hotel resort project will be built on 226 acres recently acquired in Llandovery, St. Ann.

He expected ground will be broken on the first property in time for it to be opened in November 2018 with new international brands that are not yet in Jamaica.

Karisma already operates 25 hotels worldwide, one of which is the 138-suite Sensatori Jamaica in Negril.

The resort company is now expanding the pr