The management of the Sunwing Royal Antiguan Hotel project says they will employ 260 more people by the end of February.
The announcement came from the General Manager of the company, Steven Hunter, who reportedly met with the Cabinet on Wednesday via teleconference, according to government spokesman Lionel “Max” Hurst.
The word of the prospective jobs comes even as opposition factions continue to blast the government for what they have flagged as rising unemployment rates.
Hurst’s Cabinet notes indicate that the company presently employs 360 people, who are involved in repairing the 250 rooms at the property and improving other amenities on the hotel plant.
The government’s spokesman reported that the company believes that the hotel will begin receiving guests by Christmas 2018.
Hurst also said that the Sunwing Travel Group is also planning to construct “a multi-storied 250 room hotel property on the north side of the lagoon, in front of the Royal Antiguan Hotel.” This phase of the development is expected to begin “as soon as the Royal Antiguan is complete.”
Meanwhile, the company, which also manages the Jolly Beach Resort, is reporting a 30 per cent increase in occupancy in comparison to the same period last year. The group took over management of the “rundown” property in the second half of last year, with the hope that renovating the resort would attract more guests.
The Sunwing Travel Group, which boasts of being “the largest integrated travel company in North America,” bought the hotel from Issa Nicholas for a reported US $27 million.
The United Progressive Party (UPP) had reportedly sold the hotel to Nicholas for US $12 million during their tenure.