Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett today participated in a very successful meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, to discuss investment opportunities and other possible areas of collaboration between both nations.
During their meeting, the Ministers discussed the possibility of Jamaica benefiting from the US$100 million development fund the Government of Saudi Arabia has established in collaboration with the World Bank for small enterprises.
“We also discussed how Jamaica can benefit from investment in a number of areas including tourism infrastructure. I told him about the new destination we are developing in St. Thomas and the possibility for Saudi investment in that area,” said Bartlett.
Both Ministers also examined the issue of boosting tourism resilience. “We also spoke about the collaboration that Jamaica and Saudi Arabia will have in tourism development. These include the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre in Riyadh and collaboration with regards to sustainability and resilience projects,” said Minister Bartlett.
Established in 2017 and housed at the University of the West Indies, Mona, the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC) has a mission to assist global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises. The GTRCMC currently has offices in the Caribbean, Africa, and the Mediterranean and affiliates in over 42 countries.
Minister Al Khateeb extended an invitation to Mr. Bartlett to sit on the Board of Governors of the Tourism Academy that is being established in Saudi Arabia. He also asked Minister Bartlett to participate in a mega conference of global tourism ministers in observation of the establishment of the first United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) office outside of Spain, which is being built in Riyadh.
Minister Bartlett outlined that he extended an invitation to Minister Al Khateeb to visit Jamaica, adding that he intends to visit the island in September.
Mr. Bartlett is currently in Cancun, Mexico for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Summit 2021. The event is being held in partnership with the Government of Quintana Roo, under the theme ‘Uniting the World for Recovery,’ and will run from April 25-27 in Cancun.