SOME 700 new jobs will become available when the Sandals hotel chain opens its new Whitehouse, Westmoreland resort in December.
Sandals is one of Jamaica's largest private sector employers and when the Whitehouse resort comes on-stream, the number of direct jobs provided by the hotel chain in Jamaica will jump to just under 5,000.
Work on the US$60-million, 360-room joint venture resort is far advanced and the project is on target to meet the scheduled winter opening. Recruitment and training of staff in preparation for the opening will get under way in another few weeks.
Making the announcement yesterday, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, chairman of Sandals, said the group was pleased to be playing a pioneering role in the development of the island's south coast. He said the new resort would be the catalyst for the creation of a new economic space on the south coast.
Noting that job creation was the only way to get Jamaica out of its seemingly intractable social problems, Mr. Stewart said Sandals was committed to doing its part to advance Jamaica's economic well-being.
According to him, Sandals contributed some $8 billion in direct revenue to the Jamaican economy last year. Of this amount, more than $3 billion found its way into the national coffers in the form of General Consumption Tax, customs, accommodation and other government taxes.
Apart from the additional direct jobs, the opening of Sandals Whitehouse is set to create a host of business opportunities on the south coast.
The mega Sandals Whitehouse resort will feature three distinct French, Italian and Dutch villages and will boast the widest array of amenities of any modern luxury resort in Jamaica. All rooms will be ocean-front and the resort will have a jogging trail and a golf course. Also, it will be the only resort in the Sandals chain to offer horse-back riding.
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