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Tourism matters took priority at a meeting which Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett had with Organisation of American States (OAS) Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza and World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Regional Director for the Americas, Carlos Vogeler, in Washington, on March 2.

It was agreed that countries of the region could more effectively tackle poverty, gender inequality and climate change, if tourism is given a much more significant role.

They also spoke of their interest in stepping up co-operation among their respective institutions, on tourism-related matters. 

Hosting the meeting, Secretary General Insulza argued that, “challenges, including airlift and visa restrictions, should be addressed, so that citizens of the Americas can explore new opportunities to strengthen ties, in the face of global challenges.”

For his part, Minister Bartlett stressedthat, “tourism has the potential to open doors that are sometimes traditionally closed in areas of politics and policy.”

He supported Mr. Vogeler’s views about the vital importance of the tourism sector in various OAS member states, while emphasising the significant role of tourism in the hemisphere, not only from an economic perspective, but also from the standpoint of its social and political impact.

Also in attendance at the meeting were Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks;Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Jennifer Griffith,and OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert R. Ramdin.

                                                                                             

CONTACT:   DERRICK   SCOTT

                     EMBASSY OF  JAMAICA

                     WASHINGTON