Latest News

Former Colombian president to be keynote speaker for upcoming int'l tourism conference

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says that Álvaro Uribe, former President of Colombia, is the keynote speaker for the 'Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth - Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs)', scheduled to take place next January.

“I am very pleased to announce that president Uribe will be our keynote speaker for our very important conference. He has a strong track record of encouraging small and medium enterprises and has used this as a tool, to deal with some of the security issues they had dealing with the cartels and so on,” said the minister during a recent press conference at the Ministry of Tourism's New Kingston Office.

The ministry said the conference is being hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on January 29, 2019.

It will seek to build the capacity of local tourism suppliers by way of strategic sessions that will focus on issues affecting suppliers and ways to fix them.

Bartlett stressed that as a result of Jamaica's global petitioning for small entrepreneurs in tourism, the conference will be attended by major international players in the industry.

“We are expecting representation from all the countries within the Caribbean, and some of South America and Latin America, where the Organization of American States has relationships,” said the minister.

He also added that major global institutions have responded in a major way to provide the much-needed assistance for small and medium tourism enterprises.

“The OAS has come on board with a programme for the first time in its history, which is going to be unfolded in our conference in January next year in Montego Bay. They have put together US $500,000 to be made available to SMTEs in the Caribbean.

This was a direct response to the global conference Jamaica hosted last November, where one of the three outcomes was to establish SMTE projects around the world. This is significant because 80 per cent of tourism is driven by SMTEs but only 20 per cent of the benefits from the industry is returned to them,” said the minister.

The conference coincides with two major tourism events — the Caribbean Marketplace Expo, which is the signature tradeshow for tourism in the region and the launch of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.

Uribe, is a Colombian politician who served as the 31st President of Colombia from August 2002 to August 2010.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon