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KINGSTON, Jamaica; October 27, 2016: Minister of Tourism Hon. Edmund Bartlett is urging his fellow Ministers of Tourism and other tourism partners across the region to use the forum which will be provided at the upcoming Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS) 2016 to develop a model that will drive growth in regional tourism, despite numerous global challenges.
Speaking at the press launch for the event on October 27, 2016, at Kingston’s iconic Devon House, Minister Bartlett, outlined that while tourism is undoubtedly one of the world’s largest and fastest growing sectors it faces many complex challenges. These include terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters, catastrophes, economic uncertainty in source markets and the ever-changing demands of travelers; all of which pose serious threats to the sustainable growth of tourism.
He emphasized that TOS 2016, which is slated for December 6-8 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, will provide the ideal opportunity for national and regional tourism policy makers and stakeholders to examine these and other issues and discuss ways to address them in order to foster continued growth.
“The seminar will also look at how we in the Northern Caribbean space can develop a model that is going to make us grow at rates that are higher than the current position – because the Caribbean is arguably the slowest growing destination in world tourism,” said Minister Bartlett.
“At the seminar, I will be hosting a Summit of Tourism Ministers from the region. We are going to discuss how we can change the game from the highly competitive tourism strategies that have not given us growth, to a new more collaborative approach. We have extended invitations to tourism ministers from the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and the Cayman Islands,” Minister Bartlett added.
The event will be held under the theme: ‘Tourism: Navigating Global Changes for Continued Growth’. This year’s staging is being hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The seminar is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
It will see contributions from global experts on critical topics, such as managing communications in the face of issues such as pandemics, terrorism and natural disasters; establishing multi-destination tourism; travel facilitation and connectivity and packaging destination experiences among other topics.
TOS 2016 will feature presenters and panellists from renowned local and international organizations, such as: the UNWTO, Airbnb; TUI; Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health; the World Travel & Tourism Council; the Caribbean Tourism Organization; the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); and Sandals Resort International.
The Minister also announced that Caribbean Airlines has thrown its support behind the initiative and is the preferred airline partner for the seminar.
Registration for the event is already open. Persons are being encouraged to register online and access additional information at www.visitjamaica.com/tourismseminar .
“I encourage everyone – policy makers, representatives of government ministries and agencies, hotel owners and senior managers, investors, academics, airline executives, travel agents, travel media, tour operators and other business partners – to go to the JTB website and register for TOS 2016 today,” Minister Bartlett emphasized.