Published on : Saturday, July 3, 2021
Jamaica and Saudi Arabia have initiated the deliberations aimed at facilitating cooperation and investment in tourism and other key areas, following a series of meetings between Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; his colleague Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill; and Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, during his visit to Jamaica last week.
The visit ended on Friday, June 25, with a tour of the Ueshima Coffee Company owned Craighton Estate, in Irish Town, followed by a farewell luncheon for Minister Al Khateeb and his delegation.
Minister Bartlett said that during His Excellency’s visit, we looked at resilience and sustainability issues as critical pillars on which the recovery of tourism can be predicated. But more so, how to build capacity among the people who offer better services and offer better experiences. More importantly, to be able to retain the earnings from tourism in our local space. We also discussed the issues related to investments in tourism in particular and also broader investment opportunities.
Minister Al Khateeb highlighted that he is interested in a number of investment opportunities and will continue discussions with Jamaica in the months to come.
Other areas of collaboration discussed included: air connectivity, improving community tourism to benefit Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises and resilience building. An MOU is now being structured to bring into effect the areas of agreement that were outlined during the discussions.
Minister Hill said that a number of high-level investment opportunities discussed will be brought to the Prime Minister’s attention for further consideration.
Minister Al Khateeb was in Jamaica primarily to participate in the 66th meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Regional Commission for the Americas (CAM) and the Ministerial Dialogue on: ‘Reactivation of the tourism sector for inclusive growth,’ which took place on Thursday June 24, 2021, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The Caribbean was also strongly represented by the Minister of Tourism and International Transport for Barbados, Senator, the Hon. Lisa Cummins, who also travelled to Jamaica to attend the CAM meeting, which was chaired by Minister Bartlett. Senator Cummins also chairs the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO).