Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Regional tourism ministers back Jamaica/UNWTO Global Conference

Published:Monday | February 6, 2017 | 2:00 AM
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (second left) and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Chairman Obie Wilchombe (second right) are flanked by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Anguilla, Cardigan Connor (left), and Minister of Tourism, Barbados, Richard Sealy (right), during the Council of Tourism Ministers meeting.

Western Bureau:

Tourism ministers throughout the Caribbean have thrown their weight behind the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's (UNWTO) Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, scheduled for Montego Bay, St James, from November 27 to 29, this year.

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers during the Caribbean Travel Marketplace (CTM), Paradise Island, Bahamas, last Wednesday, the group endorsed the Jamaica-hosted event, which is being staged in the Caribbean for the first time.

"This UNWTO global conference is a first for the Americas and will bring together high-level decision makers from 157 countries. The secretary general of the United Nations is scheduled to address the gathering," said chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Obie Wilchcombe.

 

PRACTICES SUPPORTED

 

Pointing out that while all nations face common global challenges, CTO's member countries fully support practices to cooperatively sustain the livelihood of its tourism industry, Wilchcombe, who is also minister of tourism for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, noted that this was possibly by protecting social, economic, and environmental assets.

The conference comes at a time when the CTO is celebrating 2017 as the Year of Adventure in the Caribbean, which coincides with the UNWTO's theme of International Year of Sustainable Tourism.

"The Caribbean's active role in the UNWTO provides an opportunity for our members to access a range of essential resources and to form partnerships with tourism leaders from every continent. We commend Jamaica for its role in securing this event for the region," said Wilchcombe.

Host, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, who was in attendance at the meeting, urged his counterparts to bring their best deliberations, to what he described as crucial to all member nations.

 

Global conference goals

 

- The sharing of replicable best practices of partnerships in/for tourism;

- Development of a list of international development and funding opportunities to be shared worldwide;

- Provision to governments enhanced development/investment road maps to enhance success with donors/investors;

- To foster exchange among governments, investors, and donors to identify priorities/obstacles;

- Support governments in preparing investment opportunities to announce worldwide.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com