Caribbean Tourism Summit opens today in Jamaica
Top players in global tourism meet June 15-16 to examine the way forward for regional tourism.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 15, 2012 – The vexed question of airlift, which has been brought sharply into focus by developments over the past few weeks, is expected to be high on the agenda at the two-day Caribbean Tourism Summit and Outlook Seminar 2012, which opens today in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Several of the global tourism industry’s top players will meet to examine the way forward for the region’s tourism sector at the June 15-16 summit, which is jointly organized by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Usually held as separate events, the Caribbean Tourism Summit and the Tourism Outlook Seminar have been merged this year as Jamaica celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence and the CHTA marks its golden anniversary.
The summit will address issues facing regional tourism and will examine the link between the region’s aviation policy and its competitiveness. Noted University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer and researcher Professor Ian Boxill will spearhead the publication of a report on the discussions and outcome of the seminar.
A cadre of speakers will focus on a range of topics including international aviation, travel facilitation policies, the importance of service and value and ways to enhance the competitiveness of the Caribbean vacation experience.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill said: “This summit is very timely and presents an excellent opportunity to have dialogue with global tourism partners on how we can further develop and grow tourism in the Caribbean. It will provide a good platform to examine the challenges facing our sector and the solutions that will enable players in the industry to overcome them."
Dr McNeill underscored the point that the topics to be discussed are particularly apt as they are among the issues currently being addressed by his ministry.
“We have been working assiduously to ensure there is adequate airlift into Jamaica and to improve the travel experience of our visitors through visa facilitation. This is crucial to our efforts to enter new and emerging markets in order to boost arrivals. I am heartened to see that these issues will be given special attention at the summit as it is critical that we find effective ways to address them as a region," the minister said.