BRIDGETOWN, Barbados CMC – The Barbados government has signed an agreement with Sandals Resorts International (SRI) paving the way for the Jamaica-based hotel chain to take control of the Almond Beach Village.
The Freundel Stuart administration also announced that SRI has already purchased the Casuarina Hotel in the south of the island for its ‘Couples’ resort.
“We are quite excited to have both of these properties coming to Barbados at this time. It is a tremendous boost for our tourism industry at this time. It sends the right signal as far as confidence is concerned. It is going to be an investment north of BDS$500 million (One Barbados dollar = US$0.50 cents) over the next several years and it will see 1,500 people eventually employed over both hotels,” Tourism Minister, Richard Sealy, said.
The two resorts would bring an additional 800 rooms to the island’s hotel stock and, according to Sealy, could result in 130,000 more visitors coming to the island.
He said an additional benefit for Barbados as a result of the agreements would be the amount of income generated on the local market.
“In terms of the spend, these are high quality resorts and apart from the employment that I spoke of… the estimate is that BDS$22 million would be sourced in terms of local goods from Barbadian businesses,” he added.
SRI founder, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, said he was pleased with the acquisition, noting “being in the Caribbean and not being prominent in Barbados is not good for my organization”.