Good afternoon.

I saw a quote credited to Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of United States President, Frederick Delano Roosevelt, which said that ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’. This afternoon we have gathered to share in the grand opening of the S Hotel, and celebrate with a man who believes in his dreams and pursues them with passion.

I am pleased to be a part of such an exciting moment for the Crissa Group—the opening of this hotel, which is the tangible result of Christopher Issa’s years of effort, hard work and dedication. As a keen businessman and entrepreneur, he knows that success does not depend on chance or luck. Success is the result of courageous choices, an enterprising vision, and good business ethics.

Sharing on this happy occasion are those who have dreamed of, or have contributed to the development of tourism in Montego Bay. There are also representatives of government, private business, and the institutions of civil society which developed the financial and legal arrangements which under-gird this project.

Present here are architects, artists, designers and engineers, construction workers, managers, hotel staff, volunteers, among many others whose work has turned the hopes of the Crissa Group into tangible reality. Congratulations for your outstanding work!

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s opening of the S Hotel means that Montego Bay has 120 more rooms available to guests whether local or international, as they travel for leisure or work on our beautiful Island.

Tourism is key to Jamaica’s economy, and our nation is known globally as a premium travel destination. We must, therefore, give rigorous thought to how each local project will affect national development, because the travel and leisure sector, is highlighted as one that offers enormous unrealized potential.

Montego Bay is a pivotal hub in the local tourist industry. Today’s opening of the S Hotel is testimony to the confidence which Christopher Issa has in the local tourist industry, and his recognition of the importance of this City, as well as his belief in the country’s development, and his commitment to nation-building.

I can truly say that the organization which Mr Issa leads is “using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong,” This maxim is etched into the I Believe Initiative, of which Mr Issa is an Ambassador.

The IBI, which is a component of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence, encourages the concept of being ‘peddlers of hope’. Chris has embraced this ideal through his generous deeds, and using his God-given talent for planning, business and entrepreneurship.

The Crissa Group has not only looked at the dividends and profits that will accrue from this investment, but is also aware of the impact which it will have on human life in the City through employment and other opportunities.

According to American composer, Irving Berlin, ‘The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success’. I am sure Chris will not experience this challenge, and he will have no difficulty to continue being successful.

Today’s ceremony is the culmination of a long process and the beginning of a new chapter for the Crissa Group. Congratulations and best wishes for the success of this new venture.

I thank you.