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  • Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has pointed to the need for increased international funding for tourism projects.
  • Mr. Bartlett, who was speaking at a press conference on June 6 at the Consulate General of Jamaica during Caribbean Week in New York, said funding to the sector represented less than half per cent of gross development finance in 2015 or a paltry US$253 million.
  • Mr. Bartlett said the big challenge for participants at the conference is to respond to these critical prerequisites for tourism development by addressing the need for public and private investment/finance and how it can be expanded through innovative linkages.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has pointed to the need for increased international funding for tourism projects.

He said that despite the positive impact of the tourism on economies worldwide, the industry remains under-represented in funding by bilateral and multilateral donors.

Mr. Bartlett, who was speaking at a press conference on June 6 at the Consulate General of Jamaica during Caribbean Week in New York, said funding to the sector represented less than half per cent of gross development finance in 2015 or a paltry US$253 million.

“Over the past decades, tourism has experienced significant growth and has become one of the fastest growing socio-economic sectors in the world. In 2016, international tourist arrivals totalled over 1.2 billion and are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030,” Mr. Bartlett said.

He noted further that tourism accounts for more than 10 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP), 30 per cent of the world’s trade in services and one in 11 jobs worldwide. “It is evident then that tourism is an economic powerhouse that creates opportunities to improve the livelihoods of millions,” he contended.

Minister Bartlett said the linkages between tourism and other economic sectors are often overlooked by planners and policymakers “which diminish the industry’s ability to magnify economic and development gains, both at the national and global level.”

He noted that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism is expected to provide solutions on how the Caribbean can better leverage this industry.

The event is slated for November 27-29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.

Mr. Bartlett said the staging of the conference is important, given the region’s dependency on tourism.

“The conference programme, though global in nature, is highly significant to the Caribbean. We felt that we should incorporate a programme specific to the Caribbean and some of the issues we grapple with. This programme will take place on the first day of the conference on November 27,” Minister Bartlett noted.

Mr. Bartlett said the big challenge for participants at the conference is to respond to these critical prerequisites for tourism development by addressing the need for public and private investment/finance and how it can be expanded through innovative linkages.