LUXOR, Egypt; November 2, 2016: In an effort to bolster Caribbean Tourism, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, recently announced that he will be hosting a Summit of Caribbean Ministers, as a highlight of this year’s staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS) to be held in Montego Bay in December.
Speaking at the 104th Session of the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council Meeting in Luxor, Egypt, Minister Bartlett outlined that the summit will give the tourism leaders within the region a forum to discuss the collaborative approach that needs to be taken to generate increased growth in the sector.
“This Summit of the Caribbean Ministers is an innovation that we have never had before. We are going to be saying to our minister colleagues, ‘let’s look at the Caribbean together and discuss how we can change the game from the highly competitive strategies that have not given us growth’,” said Minister Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett emphasized that at the end of the discussions, he hopes that strategies can be discussed which will emphasize the harmonization of a number of policies in the region.
“We are going to be challenged in this discussion. We need to examine a regional approach on a number of policies to enable: aviation and airlift activities to move seamlessly within the region; visitor facilitation and access to each other’s destinations; less visa restrictions; and preclearance arrangements. Most importantly we will discuss how we can rationalise the airspace to allow a single space to reduce the cost of airlines coming into our destination,” said Minister Bartlett.
Tourism ministers are expected from The Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Cayman Islands.
“This collaborative approach to looking at the impact of tourism will be ongoing. In fact I am happy to share that little Jamaica has been selected to host the UNWTO Global Conference on Tourism Development and Sustainability. 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,” he added.
The Tourism Outlook Seminar, which is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, 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).
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 organizations, such as: the UNWTO, Airbnb; TUI; Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health; the World Travel & Tourism Council; the Caribbean Tourism Organization; the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA); and Sandals Resorts International.