$150M: Amount Sandals has spent since 2010 on Jamaica updates

Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), said the hotel chain has spent more than $150 million over the past five years to upgrade its 12 properties across Jamaica.

"Since 2010 we have spent $156 million on our existing properties in Jamaica, 'Sandalising' and upgrading them to what we called a luxury inclusive experience," Stewart said.

Stewart was addressing the Jamaica Investment Forum (JIF) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall on Wednesday during a panel discussion on 'Jamaica's Homegrown Multi-nationals'.

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According to Stewart, the upgrade included the construction of new restaurants, the renovations of rooms and suites, installation of jacuzzis, fire pits and new pools "which allowed us to bring them [the resorts] up to proper international five-star hotels. It's really a lot of work that we have done to ramp up ours service and standards," he stressed.

Stewart, who noted that the island has the "hardest and most diligent workforce in the Caribbean," said the hotel chain's biggest asset is its workforce.

He said Sandals Resorts spends roughly US$2 million in Jamaica annually to undertake a raft of training and development programs for its more than 7,000 employees.