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Published on : Tuesday, November 26, 2013
There are possibilities of about 400 job opportunities in the Jamaican hospitality in the long term under a management agreement between the National Insurance Fund (NIF) and Europe’s third largest hotel chain, Melia Hotels International (MHI). The Spanish hotel chain will operate the Braco Hotel in Trelawny under the agreement for the next 15 years.
This follows negotiations, which involving Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill and Minister of Labour and Social Security, under which the NIF falls, Derrick Kellier.
During a ceremony, the ministers and Chairman of MHI, Gabriel Escarrer Julia, formally exchanged the signed agreement.
Information Minister, Senator Sandrea Falconer at a recent press briefing said that earlier this year the Ministry of Finance gave approval for the NIF to undertake renovations and infrastructure improvements at Braco Hotel, which was acquired in 2000.
Falconer told journalists that the 226-room hotel was purchased, subject to a lease agreement with BRL Limited, which is a part of the SuperClubs Group.
She noted that BRL vacated the property in 2011, terminating the lease. Subsequently a short-term agreement was entered into with Blue Diamond Hotels and Resorts in order to capitalise on the winter and summer tourism season opportunities for the ensuing two years, Senator Falconer explained. That agreement expired in May of this year.
The Minister said the engagement of a long-term management agreement will not only secure some 200 jobs initially, but will also “lay the pathway” for the future expansion of the hotel, to create an additional 150 to 200 jobs. MHI is the 12th largest hotel chain in the world, with more than 350 properties in 35 countries.