A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of a Sandals resort in Tobago is expected to be executed shortly, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) confirmed yesterday. According to a statement, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and a government team met with a Sandals delegation led by its chairman Gordon Butch Stewart on Wednesday.
The meeting was held two days following the presentation of the 2018 budget in the House of Representation. In that presentation, Finance Minister Colm Imbert indicated an announcement would be made about the Sandals project shortly. The OPM statement said Wednesday’s meeting saw a continuation of the conversation about the establishment of a Sandals resort in Tobago.
Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, Tourism Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and Minister in the OPM Stuart Young also participated in the meeting. This particular initiative is called the Sandals Golden Grove Tobago Project. The 2018 Draft Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure showed a $5 million allocation for the Golden Grove-Buccoo Ltd.
This company is handling the legal arrangements for the land at Buccoo Estate in Tobago where the resort is to be built. The OPM said Government is committed to the successful pursuit of a Sandals Golden Grove Tobago resort as the positive effects would be tremendous.
The OPM said the model for the project would involve Government building the resort while Sandals Resorts Inc would manage it.
Rowley hinted on September 13, that this model would be pursued. He said a similar model currently exists for the Hilton Trinidad and the Hyatt Regency Trinidad. Wednesday’s discussions between the Government and Sandals also focused on the timing of the project and the use of private equity investment.