Spanish development in Jamaica, which has recently seen the openings of Riu and Iberostar properties in the Montego Bay area, now moves into the medical tourism field with the announcement of a 60-room hospital to be built on the island's north coast by the Spanish-based Groupo Hospiten.

The development fits nicely into the tourist board's marketing strategies to promote health, sports, religious, cultural and heritage tourism, according to Edmund Bartlett, minister of tourism.

The hospital will break ground in a few months, Bartlett said.

In the heritage arena, the Spanish-Jamaica Foundation and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust recently unveiled several large bi-lingual [English and Spanish] placards marking the historical significance of sites that include the Sangster International Airport, the Montego Bay port, the Iberostar and Riu hotels, Mahoe Bay and the Cinnamon Hill area.

Bartlett described the project as symbolic of how foreign investment and host countries could collaborate, and he pledged further cooperation between Spain and Jamaica "to examine strategies to mitigate and overcome this current economic crisis."

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