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(PRESS RELEASE) – Prime Minister of Barbados The Hon. Mia Mottley expects the new Beaches project at Heywoods to play a key role in Government’s plans to turn around the economy.
Beaches is the family resort brand of Sandals Resorts International, and Barbados will be home to the first such hotel in the Eastern Caribbean.
During a visit to the project site on Friday October 26th, Prime Minister Mottley confirmed that her administration would ensure that all approvals were in place so that the project could get off the ground in time for the January 2019 groundbreaking.
“I am deeply conscious as was indicated, that subject to all of the relevant permissions being put in place that this project will start in early January for the benefit of both the owners and shareholders of Sandals, but equally as important to the people and workers of Barbados. I therefore am happy to be associated here this afternoon, and to say that I have every confidence that you are going to be in a position to start very shortly. The reality also is for us as we have indicated that this is part of the light that is necessary to bring hope and to help Barbados out of this very different set of circumstances.”
Prime Minister Mottley also assured that her government will respect all agreements that had been negotiated with Sandals prior to assuming office.
“We accept that those contractual obligations which were made are those which we continue to abide by, because this is a country who above all else abides by the rule of law. We want however, to allow as many hotels as our fiscal circumstances allow to enjoy the exact benefits that you currently enjoy.”
Meantime Chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) The Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart is confident that the planned US$400 million property will play a major role in attracting more visitors and airlines to Barbados, therefore helping the Barbados economy to recover.
Mr. Stewart indicated that during the 27 month construction phase, the resort will employ close to 1800 men and women, with some 700 to 800 permanent jobs after completion.
“This is easily the most modern property that we will have. It will be, in my view, the finest family resort anywhere in the entire world.”
In fact bare months after Sandals opened its newest hotel, the Sandals Royal Barbados, the company has already invested in and is preparing to open 50 more suites at that property.
Minister of Tourism Kerrie Symmonds also welcomed the new development and the impact it will have on positioning Barbados as a key investment destination.
“I think that it sends a very positive signal to all who have ears to hear and eyes to see, that the investment potential of this country is alive and well, and that there is still an elasticity of demand. I want to be very brief today, to say thank you very much Mr. Stewart, we warmly welcome the partnership, and we are looking forward to building on that as we go forward.”