Bartlett Driving St. Thomas Development with TUI Group

Bartlett Driving St. Thomas Development with TUI Group

Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett is driving future tourism investment for St. Thomas which is gearing up to become Jamaica’s newest tourist destination. In a meeting with German leisure, travel and tourism company, TUI Group, it was confirmed that the company is exploring expanding its footprints in Jamaica and is showing signs of interest to invest in St. Thomas.

The interest stems from the group’s hotel expansion plans in Jamaica and St. Thomas has been positioned as the ideal location to support this, while ensuring sustainable tourism practices. The Government of Jamaica’s Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) has provided increased publicity and opportunities to St. Thomas’ potential as a new investment frontier. The project will facilitate ease of movement, especially between the parish and the Norman Manley International Airport.

Minister Bartlett made the investment pitch during a meeting Thursday (March 7) with Senior TUI Group executives and his senior tourism team at the TUI Group office in Berlin.
“St. Thomas has become extremely attractive and is ripe for investment as this highway development comes on stream. It only makes sense that as we diversify our tourism products that we zero in on the possibilities that exist in the parish.

I am happy that our long-standing partner, TUI Group, continues to show confidence in the destination by including Jamaica in its expansion plans. This future mega investment will translate to more jobs and opportunities for communities and will be a game changer for the parish,” said Minister Bartlett.

TUI Group Senior Executives, led by their CEO of Markets and Airlines, Mr. David Schelp, reconfirmed their strong partnership with Jamaica as one of its key destinations in the Caribbean. Considered the largest travel company in the world, it is also the leading tour operator for Germans going to Jamaica.

TUI Group fully or partially owns several travel agencies, hotel chains, cruise lines and retail shops as well as five European airlines. These activities involve the operation of 353 hotels with 275,144 beds and it allows its brand to be used for another 65 hotels operated by third parties. These hotels accommodate 21 million guests per year. It also operates 16 cruise ships under the TUI Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Marella Cruises brands, as well as a fleet of 134 aircraft.

Discussions also included potential growth for flights in summer 2025, a curated Jamaica cruise itinerary that would explore home porting around the island’s ports and the establishment of a distinguished TUI Lecture series to promote tourism and tourism resilience.

“The pandemic has shown that partnerships are critical in building resilience and sustaining tourism activities. As one such partner, TUI Group is a key component in Jamaica’s tourism growth strategy and we look forward to building out this new phase of expansion,” added Minister Bartlett.


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