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Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, will participate in international webinars as part of activities to observe Tourism Awareness Week from September 27 to October 3.

The Minister provided details at a JIS Think Tank, held at the agency’s head office in Kingston on September 22.

“I am going to be involved with some international webinars. One with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on food security in rural development and tourism, and another which will be put on by the University of Bournemouth in the United Kingdom (UK),” Mr. Bartlett said.

He said for the UK webinar, his presentation will focus on global resilience, which will come from his own experience and position as Chairman of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC).

“In addition, we are going to be having a panel discussion on elements of tourism’s involvement and the role that it will have to play with COVID and post COVID, in building communities and strengthening rural development,” Mr. Bartlett added.

The Minister also indicated that the Ministry of Tourism will host a series of webinars of its own, focusing on what is being done to build capacity among rural partners.

“We will be looking at the funding arrangements that are in place at EXIM Bank and at Jamaica National Small Business. We will be looking also at what the Government is doing, through the Ministry of Finance programmes that are bringing some $1.2 billion to be available through grants… for small and medium tourism enterprises (SMTEs),” Mr. Bartlett pointed out.

He said the conversation will also surround empowerment activities and community tourism.

World Tourism Day (September 27) and Tourism Awareness Week will be celebrated under the theme ‘Tourism and Rural Development’.

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