ANTIGUA ST. JOHN S, Antigua , CMC: THE ANTIGUA and Barbuda government and the Sandals Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a hotel project that Finance Minister Harold Lovell said would be the first project to benefit from a soon-to-be introduced Tourism and Business Special Incentives Act 2013. This legislation provides significant concessions to encourage investment in tourism, Lovell said, noting that it is a sunset legislation that would be terminated following its built-in lifespan. Lovell said that the US$150 million Beaches resort project would triple the number of jobs at the present Grande Pineapple Resort , which it will replace. This investment will triple the employment currently in the Pineapple property from 180 jobs to over 700 jobs. In addition, during the construction phase, we expect to have another 250 jobs, he said. Sandals chairman Gordon Butch Stewart was however critical of regional governments whom he said were taxing the hotel and tourism industry out of existence.
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