SANDALS director of corporate services Jeremy Jones is denying that there is a secret deal between Sandals Resorts International (SRI) and the TT government.
He was speaking to reporters at the Sandals Barbados Royal hotel yesterday after news broke that the High Court had ruled that chartered surveyor Afra Raymond can seek judicial review of government’s failure or refusal to disclose documents in relation to government's deal with Sandals to construct a 500-750-room hotel in Tobago.
Asked about the judgement, Jones said: “Well with this being as it stands right now, it’s still in a conservation stage. When you look at the real estate that is going to be developed and built, and the incentives that we have been granted, we think that the incentives that have been given by the government, not necessarily to operate but to the country, if Sandals or Beaches would not be operating then the real estate would still be there, the assets would still be there and that is always going to benefit the people.
“So we don’t think there is any secrecy to the deal. When we came to Barbados and when we came to Grenada, it was a public disclosure in terms of all the incentives that were granted, but they were not only granted to Sandals, they were granted to every hotel, and I suspect that will happen to every hotel in Tobago as well.”
And asked whether the agreement would still be in force should the government change after a general election, Jones said the agreement was not with a political party but with the TT government.
He said the Tobago project would involve the construction of a Sandals resort- which is marketed to couples and a Beaches resort- which is the company’s family-style resort.
He said the agreement should be completed by November but insisted that negotiations were still ongoing.