Jamaica Tourism Minister scouts Spanish investment

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday January 31, 2011 – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett is to meet with key investors while in Spain where he will be taking up his position as a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Executive Council.

During the visit, which began yesterday and ends on Thursday, Bartlett and Director of Tourism and Chairman of the Jamaica Tourist Board, John Lynch, will meet with current Spanish investors to explore the prospects of expansion. 

That will be followed by a three-day trip to London where they will meet with tourism interests before returning to Jamaica next Sunday.

“We intend to meet with investors to discuss investment expansion prospects for the tourism industry. We will also meet with key tour operators in London to drive the market and achieve growth moving forward,” Bartlett explained.

While in Spain the Tourism Minister will also meet with the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, to discuss his new role as executive member. Jamaica will be representing the entire Americas region on the Executive Council, which is the body of the UNWTO, in consultation with the Secretary General that deliberates on policies and strategies that affect tourism worldwide and then recommend to the General Assembly for action.

One of the main areas of focus for the Executive Council will be the UNWTO’s Roadmap to Recovery , which is essentially a blue-print of strategies for the development and growth of the global tourism industry from 2011-12. The Roadmap to Recovery, which focuses on three main areas – resilience, stimulus and green economy –, is the UNWTO’s response to the global economic recession which triggered a seven percent decline in the global tourism industry for the first eight months of 2009. 

“It is an honour for Jamaica to sit on the Executive Council of the UNWTO once again, especially at this critical point in time when the global tourism industry seeks to rebound from the impact of the lingering global economic recession,” Minister Bartlett said. 

“This appointment will enable Jamaica to influence the framing of the recovery plan moving forward, and as expected we intend to provide strong representation for all the countries in the Americas.” 

Jamaica has been a member of the UNWTO since 1975, making it the longest serving English speaking country of the Americas. Jamaica and the Bahamas are the only English speaking countries from the Caribbean that are members of the UNWTO. 

This is Jamaica’s second time on the UNWTO’s Executive Council, the first being in 1996. This term will end in 2013.

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