Tourism Out­look Sem­i­nar 2016 to fo­cus on nav­i­gat­ing global changes to drive growth

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAMAICA -

MIN­IS­TER OF Tourism Ed­mund Bartlett is urg­ing his fel­low min­is­ters of tourism and other tourism part­ners across the re­gion to use the fo­rum, which will be pro­vided at the up­com­ing Tourism Out­look Sem­i­nar (TOS) 2016, to de­velop a model that will drive growth in re­gional tourism de­spite nu­mer­ous global chal­lenges.

Speak­ing at the press launch for the event on Oc­to­ber 27 at Kingston’s iconic Devon House, Bartlett said that while tourism is un­doubt­edly one of the world’s largest and fastest-grow­ing sec­tors, it faces many com­plex chal­lenges. These in­clude ter­ror­ism, pan­demics, nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, catas­tro­phes, eco­nomic un­cer­tainty in source mar­kets, and the ever-chang­ing de­mands of trav­ellers all of which pose se­ri­ous threats to its sus­tain­able growth.

He em­pha­sised that TOS 2016, which is slated for De­cem­ber 6-8 at the Mon­tego Bay Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, will pro­vide the ideal op­por­tu­nity for na­tional and re­gional tourism pol­i­cy­mak­ers and stake­hold­ers to ex­am­ine these and other is­sues and dis­cuss ways to ad­dress them in or­der to fos­ter con­tin­ued growth.

SLOW GROWTH

“The sem­i­nar will also look at how we in the north­ern Caribbean space can de­velop a model that is go­ing to make us grow at rates that are higher than the cur­rent po­si­tion be­cause the Caribbean is ar­guably the slow­est­grow­ing des­ti­na­tion in world tourism,” said Bartlett.

“At the sem­i­nar, I will be host­ing a Sum­mit of Tourism Min­is­ters from the re­gion. We are go­ing to dis­cuss how we can change the game from the highly com­pet­i­tive tourism strate­gies that have not given us growth to a new, more col­lab­o­ra­tive ap­proach. We have ex­tended in­vi­ta­tions to tourism min­is­ters from The Ba­hamas, Cuba, Do­mini­can Repub­lic, Haiti, Mex­ico, Bar­ba­dos, Trinidad & Tobago, and The Cay­man Is­lands,” Bartlett added.

The event will be held un­der the theme ‘Tourism: Nav­i­gat­ing Global Changes for Con­tin­ued Growth’. This year’s stag­ing is be­ing hosted by the Min­istry of Tourism and the Ja­maica Tourist Board (JTB) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the United Na­tions World Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion (UNWTO). The sem­i­nar is be­ing funded by the Tourism En­hance­ment Fund.

It will see con­tri­bu­tions from global ex­perts on crit­i­cal top­ics such as man­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions in the face of is­sues such as pan­demics, ter­ror­ism, and nat­u­ral dis­as­ters; es­tab­lish­ing multi-des­ti­na­tion tourism; travel fa­cil­i­ta­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity; and pack­ag­ing des­ti­na­tion ex­pe­ri­ences, among other top­ics.

TOS 2016 will fea­ture pre­sen­ters and pan­el­lists from renowned lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the UNWTO, Airbnb; TUI; Har­vard Univer­sity’s T. H. Chan School of Pub­lic Health; the World Travel & Tourism Coun­cil; the Caribbean Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion; the Caribbean Dis­as­ter Emer­gency Man­age­ment Agency; and San­dals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional.

The min­is­ter also an­nounced that Caribbean Air­lines has thrown its sup­port be­hind the ini­tia­tive and is the pre­ferred

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