Ja­maica to host UNWTO global con­fer­ence

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPCIAL -

Mon­tego Bay, (JIS): IN­IS­TER OF Tourism Ed­mund Bartlett says Ja­maica has scored an­other first by be­ing next year’s host of the in­au­gu­ral United Na­tions World Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNWTO) Global Con­fer­ence on Tourism Devel­op­ment and Sus­tain­abil­ity.

Speak­ing to JIS News fol­low­ing the open­ing ses­sion of the ‘Gas­tron­omy of Fats and Oils: The Art of Choos­ing, Pre­par­ing and Cook­ing Good Food’ sem­i­nar at the Hil­ton Rose Hall Re­sort and Spa ho­tel in Rose Hall, St James, last week, Bartlett in­formed that the event will be held in De­cem­ber 2017 at the Mon­tego Bay Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

“Next year has been de­clared by the United Na­tions as the In­ter­na­tional Year for Sus­tain­able Tourism Devel­op­ment, and we are very ex­cited that lit­tle Ja­maica has been se­lected to host such a pres­ti­gious event,” Bartlett said. “It will see the com­ing to­gether of 157 tourism min­is­ters from around the world, as well as the par­tic­i­pa­tion of some 500 com­pa­nies that are in­volved in tourism ser­vices and pro­vi­sions.” Bartlett pointed out that it will be the first time that both arms of the UNWTO – the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor – are com­ing to­gether to put on a global event, and that Ja­maica stands to ben­e­fit tremen­dously from be­ing the host na­tion.

“This is also a huge op­por­tu­nity for the value-added side of tourism, such as health

Mand well­ness net­work, gas­tron­omy and en­ter­tain­ment and mu­sic,” he said. Bartlett said that Ja­maica’s food will be on dis­play and that culi­nary pre­sen­ta­tions and pro­to­types will be used to show­case the au­then­tic­ity of the coun­try’s prod­ucts and its world-class dishes.

He said the goal is to max­imise on all the ben­e­fits that are avail­able, en­abling Ja­maica to be the num­ber-one tourism des­ti­na­tion in the re­gion.

“We are just com­ing back from China and Ar­me­nia and you will be amazed at all the op­por­tu­ni­ties we have at our fin­ger­tips. It is no co­in­ci­dence that we are be­ing looked at in such a pos­i­tive light in­ter­na­tion­ally. It is about hav­ing a sus­tained pres­ence in the mar­ket­place and also our pol­icy of des­ti­na­tion as­sur­ance, where our vis­i­tors are speak­ing glow­ingly about us, es­pe­cially on the so­cial net­works,” he said.

The UNWTO is the United Na­tions agency re­spon­si­ble for the pro­mo­tion of re­spon­si­ble, sus­tain­able and uni­ver­sally ac­ces­si­ble tourism. It pro­motes tourism as a driver of eco­nomic growth, in­clu­sive devel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, and of­fers lead­er­ship and sup­port to the sec­tor in ad­vanc­ing knowl­edge and tourism poli­cies worldwide.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Head of Re­search and Project Man­age­ment at the Ja­maica Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion Lisa Tay­lor Stone.

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