Jamaica to play host to UNWTO Conference in November


Tourism Minister of Jamaica Edmund Bartlett recently signed an agreement to host a major global conference to commemorate the 2017 United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

The event, which will be a collaborative effort between the Government of Jamaica, international development firm Chemonics International and the UNWTO, would be staged from November 27 to 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Palacio Neptuno in Spain, Minister Bartlett expressed that he was honoured to have participated on behalf of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, to concretise arrangements to host such a prestigious event in Jamaica.

Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO shared that the conference will start discussions to create on-the-ground activities to develop tourism across the globe from such partnerships.

“We keep talking about the need for public-private-partnerships, but we fail to translate that on the ground in any effective manner. Minister Bartlett together with Ibrahim Osta,‎ Chief of Party for Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism at Chemonics International, will together cooperate in making and designing this very important meeting in Jamaica towards the end of this year,” said Secretary-General Rifai.

Minister Bartlett, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Affiliate Members of the UNWTO, described the event to be a unique opportunity which would also allow the world’s spotlight to be on Jamaica, and by extension the Caribbean.

“Jamaica is a part of the Caribbean archipelago of states which is the most tourism-dependent region on earth. It means to be positioned to invite the world to see us in the practice of sustainability tendencies, embracing best practices, and showcasing how we have been able to manage, and grow and build the economic well-being of our people is something, that for us is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Bartlett.