Owner of the Jungle Bay Villas, Sam Raphael, has stated that without the availability of funds from the Citizenship By Investment Program (CBI), the construction of the new resort would not have come to pass.
Speaking at the ground blessing ceremony on May 21st, 2017 at the new resort in Soufriere, Raphael said that since there is not “a lot of investment money going around the Caribbean,” the CBI can be seen as a “gift.”
“You don’t have a lot of investment money going around the Caribbean, not just Dominica, and the CBI is a gift to this island. I know some of us may have apprehensions and we need to talk about it and so on, but I am just laying it out,” Raphael said.
He also said that the CBI is something that combats the “serious challenges” that countries face, especially Jungle Bay and Dominica by extension.
“We have some serious challenges, so this is one way of Jungle Bay raising money. Even with our proven track record, I couldn’t get a loan to rebuild this place, so if we didn’t have CBI, we wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation today,” he said.
He, therefore, encouraged persons “in position of public trust” to be responsible when it comes to how the program is being promoted.
“I’m not saying that everybody has to sing like we sing in church from the same hymn book, but at least, we all have a vested interest in the welfare of our island and our community, and whether we are batting or fielding, it is our game,” Raphael remarked.
With regards to employment, Raphael stated that the new construction project will be employing a large number of persons in addition to the permanent hotel workers that will eventually be needed.
“We are going to open Phase One with half of the development and finish the rest next year, but by that time we will hire 100 construction workers and we will need 100 hotel workers on a permanent basis; sustainable jobs,” he said.
This is in keeping with a promise he made on May 23rd,2016 when he addressed members of the Soufriere community.
“So the plan is to commence construction in this year,” he said at the meeting. “Phase one is the construction, so we will be hiring maybe a little more, maybe a little less, but I think around 100 people.”
Raphel projected that in addition to the in-house workers that the business will have, at least 60 farmers, fishermen and others will earn a livelihood in addition to the previous 40 in-house workers engaged at the former Resort.
The new resorts will have amenities including; two large pools, 60 villas, two large yoga studios, and a spa.
The resort will take up a total of 20 acres of land.
The old Jungle Bay, located in Delices on the eastern part of the island, was destroyed by Tropical Erika in 2015.