#Jamaica, November 2, 2017 – Montego Bay – Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica should cement its place as a global conference destination when Montego Bay hosts the ‘Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism’ from November 27 to 29. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference is being held in collaboration with the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.
Speaking at a media briefing at the office of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce on October 31, Mr. Bartlett said one of the key outcomes of the conference will be the Declaration of Montego Bay document, which will form the blueprint for sustainable tourism development globally. Mr. Bartlett said the level of collaboration for the conference underpins its value, quality and uniqueness, as this will be the first that “everyone involved in tourism in a global perspective will be here in Jamaica and involved in discussing, deliberating and finalising a UN Declaration”.
“The legacy from this conference will make Jamaica immortal, because we will become the centre for a whole range of discussions and applications in the future as we build out tourism down the road,” he argued.
The Minister said the conference is going to redefine destination Jamaica as the centre where the world can come on an annual basis to cerebrate on matters relating to the development of tourism. Citing the importance of the involvement of the key multilateral financial institutions, including the World Bank and the IDB, Mr. Bartlett said this is aimed at “putting into strong focus the economic importance of tourism in global arrangements”.
These deliberations, he pointed out, will focus on bringing ideas and capital together to create products and to build out a strategy for stimulating economic growth and job creation during the event, which is to be held under the theme ‘Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’.
“It is the first time in the history of tourism activities that these elements are coming together to discuss the future of tourism,” the Minister explained.
Mr. Bartlett encouraged Jamaicans to register to attend the conference via the UNWTO website. He also said the Ministry has made efforts to ensure the conference offers a “more interactive approach”, and, as a result, the first plenary session will include Ministers of Tourism and Chief Executive Officers of tourism enterprises engaging in dialogue about the make-up of successful, replicable collaboration models.
The Minister said the second plenary session will examine the direct contributions of tourism enterprises to the development of destinations, so that new and emerging small and medium tourism enterprises and large companies can “focus on their bottom line”.
The third session, he noted, will see the multilateral development banks and their clients pairing up to explore instruments, approaches and requirements for financing large- and small-scale tourism developments, while the fourth will examine donor-funded programmes that demonstrate balanced growth with environmental sustainability and social inclusion. This will be followed by the presentation of the Draft Declaration of Montego Bay, which will be completed by the Scientific Committee during the conference.
Among the confirmed speakers at the conference are Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; President of the Dominican Republic, His Excellency Danilo Medina; and UNWTO Secretary-General, His Excellency Taleb Rifai.
Conference collaborators include the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO); the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA); private international development company, Chemonics International; and the George Washington University of the United States.
The conference is also sponsored by some major international entities, including Airbnb, CNN, American Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines, as well as Jamaican companies such as the Sandals Group, Chukka Caribbean, MBJ Airports, CariMed, Red Stripe, and the Jamaica National Group.
Hotel partners include Iberostar Hotels, Hyatt Ziva, Hilton Rose Hall, Jewel Grand, Holiday Inn, Zoetry and the Half Moon Hotel.