Published on : Thursday, October 15, 2020
For the World Tourism Day, Edmund Bartlett, the minister of Tourism for Jamaica has released this official message. Today, we join the UNWTO and the global community in celebrating World Tourism Day 2020. The theme for this year is: “Tourism and Rural Development”. It highlights the unique role that tourism has played in all these years in providing loads of opportunities outside the big and prominent cities and at the same time safe guarding their cultural and natural heritage worldwide.
This particular theme in Jamaica will guide our activities for Tourism Awareness Week, which starts from September 27th and continues till October 3rd, as we raise awareness of the key contribution of tourism to the wide-scale growth and development of this beautiful island.
• Daily advertorials emphasizing rural development campaigns of the Ministry of Tourism and its Agencies
• A Church Service
• Virtual Expo
• Virtual Webinar
• Social Media Competitions, and a
• Youth Photography Competition
Tourism sector is one of the largest industrial sectors of the world, developing job creation, financial growth, and infrastructural development. In the past seven months, however, the pandemic and its measures related to containment have tested the resilience of the global tourism economy in a severe way.
Before this outbreak, there were 1.5 billion foreign tourist arrivals; travel and tourism accounted for 10.3% of the GDP of the world; and it employed 1 in 10 persons world over. At Jamaica, as we welcomed 4.3 million visitors, tourism earned US$3.7 billion, contributed 9.5% to the GDP of Jamaica and generated 170,000 direct jobs. Unfortunately, both at home and abroad, this crisis period has caused major loss in jobs, as the plunge in business and earnings have been astounding.
The single positive take-away from this pandemic situation is that it has emphasized the critical importance of tourism behind national development. Tourism is our economy’s heartbeat and it will serve as the catalyst of Jamaica’s Post-COVID-19 economic recovery.