Spanish hotel mogul chides Jamaica’s red-tape

Winsome Charlton with honoree Miguel Fluxa Rossello.;
Photo by Vinette K. Pryce

For the second time in a week, the Jamaican government was rebuked for impeding investment in the nation with a preponderance of red-tape and bureaucracy.

The latest slap to the nation’s mode of operation came from billionaire investor Miguel Fluxa Rossello, executive chairman, Grupo Iberostar, a five-star hotel chain boasting 100 hotels in 16 countries.

Named the recipient of the Hummingbird Award for international philanthropy, the businessman flew directly from Mallorca, Spain with his two daughters to accept the honor which was presented at the St. Regis Hotel.

“I was in love immediately with Jamaica,” the mogul said, “but Jamaica has…much bureaucracy.”

As chairman of the Spanish company that employs more than 23,000 employees and particularly head of Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Rossello spoke from the perspective of a frustrated investor.

He endeared change that could benefit employees of the 189 suite resort which offers luxury vacations — sea and garden views and two presidential suites. It is understood that one month after Michael Jackson died, his brother Tito sought comfort at the Jamaica location.

The five-star resort is said to be equipped with king-sized beds, European linens, sheet menu, marble bathrooms with hydromassage bath, coffeemakers, security safe deposit boxes, satellite TVs, DVD players, iPod/MP3 docking stations, high speed internet access, fully-stocked mini bars and butlers. Perhaps, if change comes from the Jamaican government Rossello might consider as many resorts in Jamaica as he now oversees in the Dominican Republic.

The gala affair hosted by the American Friends of Jamaica, a 32-year philanthropic organization primary comprised of foreigners devoted to Jamaica, the Spanish hotelier said “too much bureaucracy” plagues business there.

In the presence of former U.S. ambassadors to the island, former Minister of Tourism Ed Bartlett, Consul General Herman Lamont, numerous investors, sponsors, donors, benefactors and patrons the Spanish investor diplomatically emphasized his message.

Last year, AFJ received more than a quarter million dollars in grants. The exact figure reported is $275, 771.75 of which $156,821.75 were disbursed to 27 needy outlets on the island. Restricted donations accounted for $18,950 of the 2013 budget.

Earlier in the week, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding detailed the very same obstacle to investors saying “too much red-tape” impeded foreign investment opportunities.

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