Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Preparations on for MoBay's UNWTO conference

Published:Tuesday | February 21, 2017 | 2:00 AM

The Ministry of Tourism says multi-sectoral planning has begun in earnest for this year's hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development in Montego Bay.

The event will be held between November 27 and 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, and is one of, if not, the United Nations' most crucial conferences to be held on sustainable tourism.

The year 2017 has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism Development. The conference is a part of the UNWTO's 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which is a global framework of action to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production patterns in both developed and developing countries.

"Committee members have been chosen from various state entities which fall under the ambit of the Ministries of Tourism; National Security; Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Labour and Social Security; and Local Government ...," the ministry said in a release. "This is being bolstered by the support of representatives from private-sector groups such as the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association and the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce."

Approximately 750 direct participants and an additional 100-plus affiliated persons are expected in Montego Bay for the three-day event.

The ministry said the JHTA is the largest local partner and that the event will also be supported by Chemonics International, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, through Carnival and Royal Caribbean International, as well as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

 

PLATFORM FOR GASTRONOMY TOURISM

 

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett had first announced the event during a media interview at a Gastronomy of Fats and Oils seminar at the Hilton Rose Hall hotel, Montego Bay, in October last year. At the time, he said the hosting of the conference will offer a huge platform for Jamaica's thrust towards becoming a major gastronomy destination.

"It is an opportunity for gastronomy; for the health and wellness network, but particularly for the entertainment and music side to really shine... Jamaica's food will be on display and we are going to be having what we call gastronomy prototypes... that is to say, we are going to have special presentations of rum; special presentations of coffee and the various food types that we have in Jamaica; and all of this will present a wonderful fair for the world to come and enjoy, supported by the great music of Jamaica," Bartlett said at the time.

"So we are excited by it...because that conference is going to bring 157 ministers of tourism from around the world here, and 500 companies that are involved in tourism services and provisions. The development agencies of the UN will also be here in those discussions to look at the future of tourism development strategies that must go hand in hand with that," he stated.