Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, was conferred with the Spanish honour of Commander of Number of the Order of Civil Merit of Spain at a formal ceremony at the residence of Ambassador of Spain, His Excellency Jesus Silva, on Friday night (May 7).
Mr. Bartlett was recognised for “his efforts at strengthening the relationship between Spain and Jamaica in his current portfolio responsibility, as well as during his tenure as Opposition Spokesman for Tourism.”
“Minister Bartlett has played a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operations of the Spanish investment projects in the tourism sector,” the Embassy stated. It also noted that, since 2006, Spain has occupied “one of the leading spots in the list of foreign investors in Jamaica.”
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, poses for photographs with his wife, Carmen, after receiving the award of the Order of Civil Merit of Spain at the residence of Spain’s Ambassador to Jamaica in Kingston on Friday (May 7).
“Its investments in the tourism industry alone has added almost 6,000 rooms, a significant increase in the island’s capacity and, more importantly, resulted in the creation of over 7,000 direct jobs and some 20,000 indirect jobs,” the Embassy acknowledged.
Mr. Bartlett paid tribute to his staff, as well as stakeholders in the tourism industry, for the award which, he said, “is for the entire tourism family.”
“The recognition is for the development of the industry in Jamaica, and Jamaica’s contribution to the encouragement of Spanish investments in the country,” Mr. Bartlett said.
“I am honoured to have been cited for the contribution we have made, as a destination, to Spain’s development and its investments in the region,” he added.
Former Prime Minister, Most Hon Edward Seaga (left), congratulates Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett, on receiving the Order of Civil Merit of Spain at Friday’s (May 7) function at the home of the Spanish Ambassador in Kingston. At centre is Mr. Bartlett’s brother, Member of Parliament, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett.
The Minister also felt that it was significant that Spain was also paying tribute to his contribution to these developments, as Opposition spokesman on Tourism prior to September, 2007.
The conferment of the Order on Mr. Bartlett followed a similar conferment on CARICOM Secretary General, Dr. Edwin Carrington in recognition of his “years of distinguished service to the region and the process of integration.”
Dr. Carrington was conferred with the honour at the Spanish Ambassador’s residence in Norbrook, Kingston, coinciding with the first European Union (EU)-CARIFORUM Senior Officials meeting on Political Dialogue in Kingston, in March.
Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (second right), pictured with relatives, friends and well wishers, after receiving the Order of Civil Merit of Spain at the Spanish Ambassador’s residence in Kingston on Friday (May 7). Also pictured from left are: wife of former Prime Minister, Most Hon Edward Seaga, Carla Seaga; Mr. Seaga; Member of Parliament for East St. Andrew, Dr. St. Aubyn Bartlett (brother); and Carmen Bartlett (wife). Partly hidden in background is another brother, Alexander Bartlett.
Other recipients of this honour include the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most. Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. P.J. Patterson; and Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding.
The awards were authorised by the King of Spain, His Majesty Juan Carlos I. The order of the Civil Merit was established in 1926 by His Majesty King Alfonso XIII, to recognise “Civic virtues of those in the service of the State, as well as extraordinary services rendered to the Kingdom of Spain by foreign nationals”.