Tourism Minister: CHICOS is a wealth creation opportunity for Jamaica

Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Edmund Bartlett (centre right) and (L-R) Gabriel Heron, Vice President of Marketing, JAMPRO; Parris Jordan, CHICOS Chairman; Diane Edwards, President, JAMPRO; and Fernando Fernandez, Vice President of Development,Apple Leisure Group, share a joyous moment after the launch of the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS) on May 7, 2019 in Kingston.

Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Edmund Bartlett, has said that the upcoming tourism conference, the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference and Operations Summit (CHICOS), is an opportunity for Jamaica to further promote its diverse Tourism offerings, and create wealth. The Minister made the comments at the launch for CHICOS that was held on May 7, 2019 in Kingston at the Terra Nova All Suites Hotel.

The Minister said his Ministry and its Agencies were excited to work with planning partners JAMPRO, HVS, Apple Leisure Group and AM Resorts, for the event, which will take place on November 14-15 later this year. He said, “As partners, we’ve created the opportunities for CHICOS 2019. We're excited about it because of the business of conferences, meetings and conventions, and other activities that bring people together to celebrate the business of tourism, but more so to look at investment options, and how to create wealth; because the business of tourism is about creating wealth.”

The Minister explained that with the 300 people expected to attend CHICOS 2019, there will be discussions around tourism investments and exploration of how productivity, enrichment of local talent and competitiveness can be improved in Jamaica and the Caribbean region on the whole.

He noted that investing in the sector was not just about building more hotels, but strengthening the industry, impacting other sectors like agriculture, sport, and building the consumers’ experiences while on the island. He said, “The essence of tourism for the Caribbean is not about building more rooms; it's about building the capacity of the region to absorb the demand that tourists require- and that capacity lies in our ability to invest more in the experiences that will be consumed by the visitor.”

Positioning Jamaica as a leader in the tourism industry

The other planning partners noted their pleasure of bringing CHICOS to Jamaica; it will be the first time that the regional conference will take place in the island.

The event will further position Jamaica as a leader in the tourism industry and an attractive destination for tourism investments, building on the sector’s current success. This includes record growth for the past three years surpassing the average growth target of 5% per annum. Last year, Jamaica welcomed a record-breaking 4.32 million visitors who spent US$3.3 billion, representing an 8.6% increase over the US$3 billion earned in 2017.

“We are pleased to bring this important conference to the island nation of Jamaica,” said CHICOS Chairman Parris Jordan. “Jamaica will benefit from serving as host nation as numerous hotel industry leaders and investors will be in attendance. Additionally, CHICOS will work with the government to showcase Jamaica’s development sites for hotel projects.”

Javier Coll, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Apple Leisure Group, also noted his happiness to partner with the planning entities to put on the conference. Apple Leisure Group is an investor in Jamaica’s tourism sector, with its subsidiary AMResorts’ brands Breathless, Secrets, Sunscape and Zoetry. He said, “Jamaica has been an integral part of our growth strategy for years, and it remains a strong investment opportunity for resort development with its abundance of natural beauty and welcoming culture. We are committed to supporting the country’s economic growth and anticipate our resorts will offer the perfect location to foster fruitful discussions on the future of Jamaica and the Caribbean’s tourism industry.”

JAMPRO President Diane Edwards explained that as the thrust towards new investments in Jamaica’s hotel industry includes targeting the development of luxury properties, timeshares and attractions, it is the perfect time to have the investment conference in Jamaica. She said, “We are pleased to welcome such a prestigious event to Jamaica, as it will serve to further increase Jamaica’s profile and visibility as a premier tourist destination and position the country as the most attractive destination for tourism investments in the region.”


Additional Information

JAMPRO is planning partner for the event and will showcase Jamaica as a viable tourism investment destination, advancing strong potential investment interest from targeted companies, and increasing awareness of various tourism investment opportunities, particularly those under the Shovel Ready Investment Programme (SRIP). In addition, JAMPRO will showcase local properties that are available for joint venture or greenfield projects.

About Apple Leisure Group® (ALG)

ALG is the leading North American travel, hospitality and leisure management group with the only vertically-integrated business model, serving travelers and destinations worldwide. ALG consistently delivers exceptional value to travelers and strong performance to resort owners and partners by strategically leveraging the power of its portfolio of brands across five segments, comprising: the largest seller of vacation packages and charter flights in the U.S. for travel to Mexico and the Caribbean, moving approximately 3.2 million passengers annually through the well-established vacation brands  Apple Vacations®, BeachBound®, Funway Holidays®, Travel Impressions®,®, Blue Sky Tours®, Southwest Vacations®, Funjet Vacations®, and United Vacations®; brand management of 5-star and 4-star luxury resorts through AMResorts® award-winning brand portfolio including Zoëtry® Wellness & Spas Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Now Resorts & Spas®, Reflect Resorts & Spas®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas; best-in-class destination management services provided by Amstar DMC and Worldstar®, the exclusive  loyalty program Unlimited Vacation Club®; and the innovative technology solutions provider Trisept Solutions®, connecting over 88,000 travel agents with leading travel suppliers. To learn more about the Apple Leisure Group advantage, visit

About AMResorts

AMResorts collectively provide sales, marketing and brand management services to seven individually unique resort brands including Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now, Reflect and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. The Newtown Square-based company is continuously raising the all-inclusive concept to a new level of luxury with its signature Endless Privileges®, Unlimited-Luxury®, Defined Delights™ and Unlimited-Fun® programs. Located throughout Mexico, Jamaica, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Panama, AMResorts’ 55 award-winning properties treat every guest to premium accommodations, desirable locations and extraordinary inclusions. The brands in the collection include: boutique Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts (; 1-888-4-ZOËTRY); adults-only Secrets Resorts & Spas (; 1-866-GO-SECRETS); high-energy Breathless Resorts & Spas (; 1-855-65-BREATHE); family-friendly Dreams Resorts & Spas (; 1-866-2-DREAMS); vibrant Now Resorts & Spas (; 1-877-NOW-9953); spirited Reflect Resorts & Spas (; 1-855-4REFLECT); and fun-filled Sunscape Resorts & Spas (; 1-866-SUNSCAPE). Images, logos and informational material about the AMResorts Collection of brands and properties are available at


Staged by HVS, the Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) is the premier industry conference for the region. CHICOS annually welcomes governmental representatives, opinion leaders, developers, bankers and other lenders, tourism officials, investment funds, hotel brand executives, individuals/companies seeking investors for their tourism projects, franchise and operations companies, public and private institutions, consultants, advisors, architects, and designers to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities. (Source:

Published Date: 
Thursday, May 16, 2019
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