JA to benefit from UNWTO global conference

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference is garnering the kind of attention that is bound to boost Jamaica's stock as a premier tourism destination.

Bartlett told JIS News that the conference, to be hosted by both the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank Group, will be the “most significant global conference ever to be held in the Americas”.

“It will focus on jobs and growth. It will also see leaders of the cruise industry sitting at the same table with their land-based counterparts, discussing critical matters related to tourism,” he pointed out.

Bartlett also informed that some 800 tourism decision makers worldwide will be flying in for the conference, noting that “all eyes will be on the tourism capital of Montego Bay”.

“The region, and by extension the Americas, has never seen anything like this. There has never been a gathering of this nature, of key leaders in tourism who will be looking at best practices and how we can bring ideas and resources together. We want to look at how we can map out a blueprint of the future development of tourism, not just in the Caribbean but in the world,” he added.

Bartlett noted that the conference will have more than 157 tourism and government ministers from countries worldwide, as well as representatives from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Organization of American States and a number of key regional organisations such as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.

The minister said the conference will also explore partnerships through sustainable tourism.

“Jamaica is pleased to cement itself in history as we host the decision makers of the tourism industry across the world. We will also be using the opportunity to showcase our island's sustainable tourism development practices and demonstrate how tourism contributes to the economic well-being of every Jamaican,” he added.

The conference will be held from November 27 to 29 at the Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James.

Meanwhile, Bartlett noted that he had taken the opportunity on his recent visit to China to engage in constructive dialogue with tour operators about connectivity and Jamaica's increased presence in the Asian marketplace.

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