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Published on : Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Regional tourism industry will become the main focus, as explained by the Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James from November 27-29.
The minister also highlighted in front of the press in New York, USA, that considering the dependency of the region on tourism, it was crucial that the conferences offer solutions on how the Caribbean can better influence the industry.
To quote him, ‘the conference programme, though global in nature, is highly significant to the Caribbean. And therefore we felt that we should incorporate a programme specific to the Caribbean and some of the issues we grapple with.’ The first day of the conference will witness discussion on regional tourism. Bartlett repeated that tourism is one of the major generators of foreign exchange in 16 of the 28 countries in the Caribbean, with the said industry getting the most of the foreign investment directly.
He also pointed out that the region has a higher proportion of total employment and percentage of gross domestic product resulting from tourism than other countries in the world. To quote him, ‘it is estimated that one in every four persons is employed by tourism-related activities, and the sector accounts for 41 per cent of all exports and services in the Caribbean and 31 percent of all gross domestic product.’