Jamaica’s largest hotel, Bahia Principe, has appointed Brian Sang as its first Jamaican Country Manager. Sang joins Bahia following a string of successful tenures and noteworthy accomplishments in the hotel, tourism, and hospitality management industries. His most recent leadership role was as the Cluster General Manager for Blue Diamond Resort in St Lucia.
The outgoing director, Adolfo Fernandez, assumed a new role in Spain within the group on January 6, 2022.
Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts is a resort division of Grupo Piñero that began operations in 1995 with its first hotel in Rio San Juan on the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. Grupo Piñero’s Bahia Principe hotel chain also has properties in the Riviera Maya in Mexico and Spain in the Canaries and Balearic Islands.
The news of Sang’s appointment was welcomed by Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett who noted that the announcement is in keeping with his ministry’s goal of having more Jamaicans in leadership roles within the sector.
“I was very pleased to learn that Bahia has appointed a Jamaican as their new Country Manager. This forms a critical part of the continued human resource thrust that we have been promoting at the Ministry of Tourism, to ensure that as many Jamaicans as possible will be in leadership positions within the sector,” said Bartlett.
“I wholeheartedly welcome Mr Sang and wish him a successful tenure, which begins in the company’s 15th year in Jamaica,” he added.
Bartlett was speaking during a meeting at his New Kingston offices on January 11. Attendees included senior tourism officials, as well as a team from the Bahia Principe Resort, including the Chief Operating Officer, Antonio Teijeiro; Executive Director of Hotel Development and Innovation, Marcus Christiansen; outgoing Country Manager, Adolfo Fernández; Director of International Organization and Corporate Social Responsibility, Fabian Brown; and newly appointed Country Manager, Brian Sang.
During discussions the minister highlighted the critical work being done by the Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) to train hospitality workers to better meet the sector’s needs, while also qualifying them to fill more leadership roles.
“As part of our commitment to building Jamaica’s human capital, we developed a training arm called the JCTI, which has done an excellent job of enabling the training and certification of the hospitality industry’s labour force. This is crucial for our tourism industry’s continued growth and competitiveness,” he said.
JCTI is a division of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), a public body of the Ministry of Tourism. Since the initiative began four years ago, over 8,000 Jamaican tourism workers have received professional certification. This has been made possible through strategic partnerships with the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service Training Agency Trust (HEART/NSTA Trust), Universal Service Fund (USF), National Restaurants Association (NRA), and the AHLEI. Currently, 45 candidates are preparing for their culinary arts certification offered by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).