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