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CHENGDU, China; September 15, 2017: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett says the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Global Conference will be the most significant global conference in tourism ever to be held in the Americas.
The conference, which will focus on jobs and inclusive growth, is expected to attract 800 high-level tourism decision makers to the island’s shores in our tourism capital, Montego Bay, from November 27 – 29, 2017.
Speaking at a press briefing for international journalists earlier this week in Chengdu, China, Minister Bartlett expressed that, “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.”
The Minister also explained that he is expecting over 157 Ministers of Government, as well as representatives from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the Organization of American States and a number of key regional organizations such as the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. The cruise, accommodations and airline sectors are also expected to be actively involved in this upcoming conference.
Organised within the context of the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the global conference will explore partnerships through sustainable tourism, emphasising in particular that tourism is the creator of jobs and can be the lifeguard of a floundering economy.
“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,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister further disclosed that the conference will facilitate technical visits to three local community tourism enterprises – Rasta Indigenous Village, Cockpit Country Adventure Tours and the Bunkers Hill Cultural X-perience & River Tour. These attractions were selected to showcase the biological diversity of Jamaica’s natural environment, rich history and culture.
“It is very important for us to have organised opportunities for esteemed guests, especially potential investors and development institutions, to step beyond the confines of the Montego Bay Convention Centre. We can then discuss how funding can be strategically brought to bear on the development of these tourism niche areas,” the Minister explained.
In providing an update on the conference, the Minister gave his assurance to the media that the conference will be results-oriented with discussions about sustainability from leading regional and international presenters such as His Excellency Danilo Medina, President of the Dominican Republic; Alexandre Rosa, Vice President for Countries, Inter-American Development Bank; and James Scriven, CEO of the Inter-American Investment Corporation.
Other speakers will include Gloria Guevara Manzo, President of the World Travel and Tourism Council; Eduardo Fayos Sola, Expert on the Future of Tourism; His Excellency, Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General; and Xu Jing, Regional Director for Asia and Pacific for the UNWTO.
Minister Bartlett is currently in China to participate in the 22nd Session of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) General Assembly, being held in Chengdu, China, from September 11 to 16, 2017. While there, he has been assiduously promoting November’s ‘UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’.