UNWTO Global Tourism Conference | Eduardo Fayor-Sola calls for disruptive innovation in tourism
Eduardo Fayor-Sol·, senior adviser at the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University in the United States, said Caribbean governments must be prepared to make game-changing decisions, at the risk of major opposition, if they are to remain relevant in the global tourism market.
"We are told that the job of government is to make the playing field level, and I am going to say here that if you are to go for the future, if you are going for innovation, you will have to tilt the playing field. The job of the government in facing the future of tourism, when you talk about innovation, is to upset the apple cart, and upsetting the apple cart is not easy," Fayor-Sol· said yesterday during his keynote address at the opening session at the United Nations World Tourism Organization Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth, which is being held under the theme, 'Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism', at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St James, over the next few days.
"Those who oppose may say that this is not fair, that it is giving some advantages. You must give advantages to people that are working with you in building the future, and to do that you have to tilt the playing field."
He added, "You cannot put them in the same position as people who want to keep the status quo and do nothing, and make profit, but take no risk. Tilting the playing field is the way to go for the future."
The Caribbean remains the most tourism-dependent region in the world. With 16 of the 28 Caribbean states relying on the sector as their chief source for foreign direct investments, the region also boasts the highest proportion of total employment and percentage of GDP from the industry than any other region in the world.
A wide range of issues related to global tourism are being discussed during the three-day event, to include public-private collaborations for tourism development and growth; key elements of successful investments in the tourism sector; and international best practices.
Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness will address the conference today.