Once more we have noticed attempts to spread misinformation and unsubstantiated claims about Sandals Resorts International, including a totally sensationalized headline regarding a recent statement by Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley.
However we are not and have never been deterred by fake news, rather we appreciate the opportunity it gives us to set the record straight.
First, we have, and have always had an amicable relationship with Prime Minister Mottley. The Prime Minister is aware that Sandals is completely open to working with her government – as we have worked with governments throughout the region – to help move Barbados into a better and brighter future, because that ultimately is what is best for all of us.
The fact is that Sandals has become a key economic player in Barbados in just three and a half short years. Not only are we the largest contributor of foreign exchange but we have provided employment and training for some 1,000 persons in Barbados. Within that short time period we have built two of the most-sought after resorts in the region, one of which opened just last December and which was built by Barbadian contractors in record time. Already we are adding an additional 50 suites at the new Sandals Royal Barbados which will be available from October.
We also intend to break ground on a new Beaches hotel in Saint Peter in January 2019, and that will more than double our economic footprint. Immediately that project creates 1,500 construction jobs and will create some 1,750 full time jobs upon completion. This means we will employ in Barbados close to 3,000 of the most highly trained and potent hoteliers in the region.
As for these rumours that we don’t pay taxes, that is totally untrue, Sandals pays significant taxes in Barbados including Value Added Tax or VAT.
Indeed our negotiations on concessions have always been completely transparent and open, and it is because of these very same negotiations that many hoteliers have now been able to access concessions of their own for refurbishment and upgrades in what was a highly overtaxed sector. We have been assured that in the last two years more refurbishment and modernization has been done in Barbados than in the last decade.