Top 9 Things to Know When Opening a Hotel In Jamaica

Jamaica has always been the tourism hub of the Caribbean, as our tropical weather, natural attractions, rich musical culture and fabulous all inclusive hotels have all been considered one in a million. All of these unique features have made Jamaica one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean over the years. The tourism sector has continued to contribute immensely to our economy and is also experiencing stable growth with a lucrative contribution projection of 13.4% of the total GDP by 2027, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s analysis of the economic impact of travel and tourism on Jamaica in 2017.

The success of the tourism industry is remarkable and owes a great deal to the beautiful aesthetics of Jamaica’s north coast hotels. Tourists flock to these resorts for their fantastic service, delicious food and breathtaking views, yet they could never imagine the painstaking work that goes into establishing, maintaining and running them. Therefore, if you are thinking about opening a hotel in Jamaica here is a list of a few things that you should know before doing so.


1. Understand the Regulations Surrounding the Opening of Such an Establishment

Understanding the laws surrounding the creation of hotels are mandatory in the business. Not only do these laws ensure safety for all the stakeholders involved, but failure to comply with them will result in fines, lawsuits or even more drastically, having the hotel dissolved. For example, it is impossible to start building a hotel near a beach if it is not compliant with the Beach Control Act. You can click on the link below for the tourism laws and policies page on the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) website to fully comprehend the specific legal requirements surrounding opening a hotel. http://www.jtbonline.org/tourism-in-jamaica/tourism-laws-policies/.


2. Location

The location of the hotel will play a major role in its success. There are various factors that should affect the choice of location for your hotel such as:


The target market- Understanding of your target market so that there can be proper alignment of your hotel accordingly is imperative. The target market may include local or international customers coming for business purposes, weddings, honeymoons, beaches and so forth. You will find that the locations would certainly differ in relation to the specific target group whether it be in the city (for customers coming on business) or on the coast line (for beach lovers and cruise ship passengers) etc.


Accessibility- Hotels inherently have a massive need for frequent deliveries of goods, furniture and other amenities. As such, your hotel needs to be located in an area that takes logistical considerations into account. This would play a part in ensuring little to no turnover in suppliers for the hotel, the lifeblood of your business. Having sufficient parking space for all the customers is also vital, as well as ensuring that the hotel is accessible by car and not too far away from the main roads. One must also take into account customers who may be physically disabled and therefore requires special accomodation by the hotel. Accessibility for your employees is another critical factor as a good location (easy to access, not too far away from transportation hubs etc.) would play a major part in the recruitment process.


Rent/Lease- If you are not buying the land that you would want to use for your hotel initially, but rather leasing or renting, then you need to be aware of whether or not you would be able to pay that fee each month while sustaining other expenses of the hotel.


Government Policies- One needs to be mindful of being located in a specific area/region where the government’s rules or regulations may or may not negatively affect the potential operations of the hotel.


Expansion- As your hotel becomes more established it will experience immense growth and therefore would need room for expansion. Ideally, your hotel’s real e