On Tuesday 7th June 2022, the government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines entered into a contractual agreement with NH International (Caribbean) Limited for the construction of the Holiday Inn Express hotel at Diamond. This was done at a contract signing ceremony at Cabinet Room where Prime Minister Dr Hon Ralph Gonsalves signed on behalf of the government and the CEO of NH International Mr Kit Kennedy, signed on behalf of his company.
In his remarks before the signing, Prime Minister Gonsalves gave an overview of the project stating that the hotel would be a 92 room facility constructed at a cost of EC$ 52 million. He mentioned that NH International is the largest company of its kind in the region and has a good track record having done similar and larger construction projects to the one about to be undertaken at Diamond. Dr Gonsalves also introduced the government’s Hotel Project Implementation Unit (HPIU) headed by Dr Rudy Matthias that will monitor the progress during the construction phase of this hotel as well as the hotel to be built in Mt Wynne.
CEO of NH International (Caribbean) Ltd Mr Kit Kenndy also made brief comments before the signing of the contracts, focusing of the values of his company and its intention of being a truly Caribbean entity. This he said is done through its flagship internship program where young engineers across the region are given the opportunity to develop and grow through training and knowledge transfer, contributing to the sustainability of this critical skillset in the region.
Minister of Finance Hon Camillo Gonsalves was also at the ceremony and addressed the financing aspect of the project, assuring Vincentians that the funds for this project have been fully secured by the government through a grant from the CARICOM Development Fund.
He also commented on the transformation of the area of Diamond that was a pasture just over a decade ago, and that the construction of this hotel will add positively to this continued transformation. Member of Parliament for the South Windward constituency, Hon Frederick Stephenson expressed joy that the construction was about to begin and thanked the Prime Minister for keeping the promise of building the hotel in the area.
He spoke to the positive impact the hotel would have on economic activity in his constituency as many individuals would be able to benefit from the jobs that will be created during the construction phase.
The construction of the Holiday Inn Express is expected to last approximately 18 months and at its peak employ in excess of 120 construction workers