The Grenada government has welcomed the decision by the Jamaica-based hotel company, Sandals Resorts, to reopen, with an estimated 600 workers slated to return to work following the downturn occasioned by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Sandals in a statement said that over the next few weeks, the workers will be trained ahead of the planned re-opening of the luxury resort on October 1 so as to “ensure the strictest health and hygiene guidelines and have allowed the company to successfully reopen several other resorts in Antigua, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbados.”
Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who held talks with senior Sandals executives, described the plan to reopen the resort as “exciting news for Grenada.
“We look forward to the re-opening of the hotel and to resume welcoming visitors to our shores. This will largely signal the resumption of activity in the tourism sector, which has been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What is even more heart-warming is that hundreds of our nationals are returning the work, after six months. This is good news on a personal level for these employees, and for the suppliers of goods and services, who benefit indirectly from the hotel’s operations. On a wider scale, it is also good news for the country and I am truly heartened by this announcement, “Mitchell said.
Mitchell said he was also pleased that Sandals has indicated its willingness to share its well-established protocols with the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to facilitate training for other hoteliers.
“I commend Sandals’ willingness to collaborate with other stakeholders in the industry. This would help create uniformity in standards. Together with the fact that Grenada currently has no active COVID-19 cases, this makes an ideal selling point for the country’s tourism product. Grenada is grateful for your initiative and partnership in restarting the local tourism industry,” Mitchell added.