Marriott acquiring Elegant Hotels Groups means rewards for Barbados
Minister of Tourism, Kerrie Symmonds (FILE)
Barbados' Tourism Minister is not full abreast of the details of the Marriott acquisition of the Elegant Hotels Group but at face value he sees it as a win for Barbados.
Speaking to Loop News about the news of the acquisition offer, Minister Kerrie Symmonds said:
"I am not in a position to comment extensively on the terms and conditions or the substance of the Mariott purchase as it has not been confirmed as yet, but as a preliminary observation I can say that Mariott operates and franchises thousands of properties in over 100 countries around the world. It is a brand that caters to both upscale and more modest Leisure travelers, and also caters to the business community. It also offers all travelers one the world’s largest loyalty rewards programs so it is an excellent product.
"Their interest in making this kind of investment in Barbados is a very clear testimony to the fact that Barbados is again being seen as a destination which is working well, and is worthy of major investments."
His comments are similar to those of one of Elegant Hotels Group members who said that the offer is a "resounding endorsement" for the local hotel chain.
Moreover, Symmonds added:
"These kinds of multimillion-dollar investments mean more jobs for our people and greater exposure for our tourism workers in the form of transfers of skills and training.
"It also brings more international awareness about our island and helps us to more extensively market ourselves because of the global scale of the hotel chain." Barbados will build on its already established relationship with Marriott International Inc. Marriott is on island in the form of a Courtyard by Marriott Hastings, Barbados.
Speaking to the type of investment Marriott International would now be making in Barbados by way of this acquisition if it goes through, he shared:
"Elegant is one of the largest hotel operations in Barbados having over 1,100 employees and I believe it has in excess of $500 million in assets here in the island. It represents investment in room stock on both the south and west coast and in the case of the west coast, Elegant represents over 50 per cent of available hotel rooms on that coast."