Montego Bay Declaration Presented

Story Highlights

  • A 15-point Declaration has emerged from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism held in Montego Bay from November 27 to 29.
  • Among the key elements of the Declaration is a call for support of the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Centre in the Caribbean, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, to assist destinations’ preparedness, management and recovery from crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.
  • The Declaration, which has the objective of setting a common action plan towards 2030, stated that UNWTO Member States and their partners “shall sustain the momentum created by the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 by creating a working group coordinated by the UNWTO on the legacy of the 2017 vision”.

A 15-point Declaration has emerged from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism held in Montego Bay from November 27 to 29.

The Montego Bay Declaration was officially presented by Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; and Executive Director of the UNWTO, Carlos Vogeler, on November 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

Among the key elements of the Declaration is a call for support of the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Centre in the Caribbean, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, to assist destinations’ preparedness, management and recovery from crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.

Environment preservation, innovation and job creation are among the other key features of the Declaration, which was prepared by the Scientific Committee during the conference.

The Declaration, which has the objective of setting a common action plan towards 2030, stated that UNWTO Member States and their partners “shall sustain the momentum created by the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 by creating a working group coordinated by the UNWTO on the legacy of the 2017 vision”.

“The legacy shall focus on a plan to be presented to international donors for inclusion in their future development assistance to developing and least-developed countries, and to corporations for co-investment,” the document notes.

There is also a call of action for Caribbean governments and the private sector to work together to advance regional integration through multi-destination tourism by fostering and harmonising legislation on air connectivity, visa facilitation, product development, promotion and human capital.

The Declaration also states that national governments, local authorities, private sector, financing institutions and relevant stakeholders “shall develop an integrated and holistic approach to tourism development in order to capitalise on its value as a key contributor to sustainable development” and promote innovative tourism development models that fully engage, integrate and empower communities, create decent jobs and eliminate any barriers between communities and tourism developers.

It makes reference to the collection and analysis of tourism data to measure tourism’s full impact at national and local levels, to be undertaken by governments, local authorities, private sector, the academia and the international community.

It also calls for the creation of an enabling environment for the private sector and provides incentives for businesses to act according to the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and for the donor community to recognise the wide-ranging impacts of tourism and scale up its support to sustainable tourism at bilateral and multilateral levels through finance mechanisms.

The Declaration also appeals for the prioritisation of environmental conservation in tourism, the fostering of investment in infrastructure and technology that improves resource efficiency and mitigates climate change.

In the area of innovation, the document states there is a need for cooperation to promote safe, secure and seamless travel and build resilience for tourism by advancing crisis preparedness and management capabilities as well as the full integration of tourism in emergency structures.

The conference was staged by Jamaica, World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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