Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Rifai clarifies statements on 'plantation model' resorts

Published:Wednesday | November 29, 2017 | 5:07 PM
Taleb Rifai addressing the UNWTO Conference in Montego Bay. – Ashley Anguin Photo

Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Taleb Rifai, has admitted that his use of the statement “plantation-model” in relation to resorts yesterday may have been too dramatic.

However, he says he is disappointed in the way his suggestions were portrayed by the media.

Rifai was addressing the media at an impromptu press briefing at the UNWTO Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth at the Montego Bay Convention today.

It was called to deal with the backlash resulting from statements he made on day two of the event.

The tourism official was speaking on the topic of jobs and growth, but when the articles were carried on this morning, he expressed disappointment in the angles from which some were written.

Today he stated that he has great respect for all-inclusive resorts, and those who have invested, changed lives and developed areas in Jamaica and other parts of the world.

He explained that what he was suggesting yesterday was a direction that businesses must take, which should include communities.

Rifai’s comments yesterday were that tourism stakeholders should stop promoting modern-day plantations called exclusive resorts.