UNWTO Conference Provides Opportunity to Promote Jamaica

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett (right), is in discussion with Vice President of International Sales for American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, Ed Kastlie (left), at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, on Monday (November 27).

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the staging of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Conference in Jamaica provides a “gem of an opportunity” to interact with movers and shakers in the travel and tourism sectors and promote the country’s interests.
  • “At all times, we need to position ourselves to take advantage of opportunities and to keep pushing Jamaica as the destination of choice. This conference offers the agency a perfect context in which it can capitalise on ways that Jamaica can further enhance its presence in the global marketplace,” he said.
  • “The JTB has been aggressive and proactive in the marketplace. We have been going into markets that were once unthinkable, and we have seen the results, hence there are really no more seasons in Jamaica, as what was the traditionally slow fall season is now achieving growth,” he pointed out.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the staging of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Conference in Jamaica provides a “gem of an opportunity” to interact with movers and shakers in the travel and tourism sectors and promote the country’s interests.

He said the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), as the primary marketing arm for the sector, has a key role to play in this regard.

“At all times, we need to position ourselves to take advantage of opportunities and to keep pushing Jamaica as the destination of choice. This conference offers the agency a perfect context in which it can capitalise on ways that Jamaica can further enhance its presence in the global marketplace,” he said.

He was speaking to JIS News shortly after addressing the introductory session of the three-day conference on Monday (November 27) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St. James.

Minister Bartlett said the JTB has been doing an excellent job, and “we are seeing numbers in both revenue and arrivals that we have never achieved before”.

“The JTB has been aggressive and proactive in the marketplace. We have been going into markets that were once unthinkable, and we have seen the results, hence there are really no more seasons in Jamaica, as what was the traditionally slow fall season is now achieving growth,” he pointed out.

He noted that when the JTB goes into the marketplace everyone profits.

“When the JTB sells Jamaica, the hotels, villas, guest houses, gift shops, restaurants, craft traders, tour bus companies, bars and supermarkets all benefit. There is a huge trickled-down effect in which everybody benefits,” he added.

“Earnings from the industry have grown in tandem with the increase in overall visitor arrivals. I note that the advent of social media has been a major help, as we are reaching far more people than we have ever reached before and at a lesser cost,” he said.

The Tourism Minister said there is no room for complacency, as the JTB has an even more important role to play going forward. He pledged that the “the best is yet to come” from the agency.

“We have set ourselves ambitious targets and we must remain focused and ensure that everyone plays their part. The JTB is an important vehicle, which will continue to make Jamaica’s tourism a force to be reckoned with and the destination that is always open for business,” he affirmed.

Hundreds of players in the global tourism sector are attending the conference, including UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai.

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