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KINGSTON, Jamaica; April 24, 2017: Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that one of Africa's largest airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, has been designated as the official carrier for African States attending the ‘UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’, scheduled for November 27–29, 2017, at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
The decision was made during Minister Bartlett’s just concluded trip to Ethiopia, following a meeting between Minister Bartlett and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam
“Ethiopian Airlines is one of the most accomplished airlines in Africa. It has excellent connectivity into the United States, which will make that arrangement work perfectly. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines has codeshare arrangement with United Airlines, which offers daily flights into Montego Bay. So I am very happy to be partnering with them for this very important conference,” said Minister Bartlett
He added, “The airline has shared that this is an excellent opportunity to become the carrier for the entire African region and to be able to bring people into the Caribbean for the conference would be a good start to setting up connectivity within the region. We think also that the opportunity for the exchange of ideas, practices, technology and marketing expertise are going to serve us well in those four countries in particular.”
The Minister, who was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa and a High-level Meeting on Chinese Outbound Tourism to Africa, also shared that during his discussions with the UNWTO Commission for Africa, memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were formulated to create arrangements to increase connectivity between the African states and Jamaica.
“We were able to discuss and to agree on MOUs with the Ministry of Tourism for Ethiopia, the Ministry of Tourism for Ghana, the Ministry of Tourism for Cape Verde, and the Ministry of Tourism for Nigeria. The importance for those four MOUs is going to be very noticeable during the conference and after,” said the Minister.
“Cape Verde, for example, has an enormous Diaspora in the Boston area. We feel that the connection of Jet Blue Airways out of Boston is going to be significant in allowing connectivity from that area. The middle class of Nigeria is also growing rapidly and the affordability therefore to come to destinations like Jamaica is strong,” said Minister Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett is now in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, attending the 42nd Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Middle East and the UNWTO and Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum on Tourism’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and diversification in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Minister Bartlett is slated to return to Jamaica on April 29, 2017.