Sandals is expanding in the Caribbean with plans to open a 16th all-inclusive resort on the island of Curacao.
The former Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, part of a broader 3,000-acre development, will be revamped in a process set to begin in 2021.
The ninth island destination for the company will see a 350-room property developed along Spanish Water Bay.
Guests at Sandals Curacao will have access to a neighbouring 18-hole championship golf course, two onsite marinas and 38,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, the largest on the island.
A $40 million benefit to the island is expected in the first year of the opening.
The resort will add more than 1,200 local jobs, comprised of 800 new staff and 400 local tradesmen and craftsmen.
A positive economic ripple-effect for the community is projected, extending to local taxi and transportation sectors, the wider supply chain, agriculture, increased air lift and higher tourist numbers, especially from the US and Europe.
Roald Smeets, director of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, said: “We have a unique opportunity to attract a globally-recognised hotel operator, owner and investor such as Sandals Resorts, which will bring an unprecedented boon to the Curacao tourism industry and the local economy.
“Its position as both a hotel operator and owner, with the ability to attract regular scheduled airlines from North America, distinctly marks it out from other hotel groups.
“We found its impressive plans for the site and dedication to building the profile of Curaçao as a world-class tourism destination particularly compelling.
“Its future investment into the community will reinvigorate the tourism market, secure the livelihoods of hundreds of families and benefit every individual on the island through rejuvenating the local economy.
“Curacao has a tremendous future ahead, due to this exciting new venture, which will put Curacao truly on the global stage.”