UNWTO Global Conference to highlight sustainability, investment and linkages

PRESS RELEASE:-The hosting of the inaugural United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Global Conference on Tourism Development and Sustainability, in Jamaica this November, takes place at a time when tourism around the globe is outperforming growth recorded in the financial and business services, manufacturing, public services, retail and distribution, as well as, transport sectors.

“The conference will address the imbalance in the global funding of tourism activities and development,” Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, stated. “And, given the powerhouse impact that tourism is having on the world economy, there is a disproportionate flow of funding and financing, and this is happening, although 80 percent of tourism is driven by small and medium countries.”

He pointed to statistics from the World Travel & Tourism Council, which indicate that the sector generated US$7.6 trillion, approximately 10.2% of global GDP; and 292 million jobs in 2016, equivalent to one in 10 jobs in the global economy. And, travel and tourism accounted for 6.6% of total global exports and almost 30% of total global service exports.

In addition, locally the travel and tourism industry generated $4.5 billion to GDP last year. This represents 30% of Jamaica’s GDP, which is larger than the impact of every other sector on the Jamaican economy; and twice the size of the contribution made by the Jamaican banking industry.

The Tourism Minister noted that it was the first time in the history of the UNWTO that the private and

public sectors will be working together, in collaboration with multi-lateral financial institutions, to stage an event of this nature.

The World Bank Group and donor countries, through their specific investment agencies, will participate in panel discussions that will explore various areas of sustainability; and, how projects and financing can be generated for small and medium players in the global tourism sector.

“This event is also of historical importance, because it signals the first time that the UNWTO will stage a world conference on tourism in the Caribbean or Americas,” Minister Bartlett said.

The planning, creative and communication entities of The Jamaica National Group, a Jamaican mutually-owned global business, will provide management and execution services for mounting of the conference.

The conference will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, from November 27 to 29, 2017; and, it is projected that close to a thousand delegates from 157 countries will attend.