To be held from November 27 to 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, the conference is being hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Government of Jamaica, World Bank Group and Inter-American Development Bank.
More than 300 participants from 60 countries have already registered for the conference.
Over the three days, the participants will be identifying successful models and initiatives that will contribute to sustainable tourism development globally.
Giving details of the conference agenda at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on November 1, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said the conference is intended to foster a forum for governments, investors, donors and development organisations to exchange development and investment opportunities; share proven best practices for developing public-private partnerships (PPP) in tourism; and work with governments to prepare innovative tourism PPP investment opportunities that prioritise sustainability, economic inclusion and poverty alleviation.
“The conference will provide an opportunity for us to look at social inclusiveness, employment and poverty-reduction strategies that have been employed with success by the various entities. We need to look at how do we build the policy and the framework, legislative and regulatory arrangements to enable the sustainability, and so we want to look at innovative partnerships, best practices and lessons learned from across the globe,” Mr. Bartlett said.
The Minister added that other focus areas will include resource efficiencies, environmental protection and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage, which are all considerations for sustainable tourism.
Discussions for day one of the conference will focus on ‘The future of tourism in the Caribbean’, with various concurrent sessions dubbed Tourism and Sustainability: Threats, Risks, Opportunities and Challenges; Current Trends in Indigenous Tourism; Talent Development and Human Capital; Tourism Networks: Creating Linkages, Reducing Leakages; and Science, Technology and Innovation in Tourism.
Day two commences with the official opening ceremony, followed by plenaries focusing on development assistance agencies and investment partnership opportunities.
The sessions will afford international donors, development agencies and foundations discussion on critical areas of interest, highlight funding opportunities and formulate a roadmap for public-private collaboration.
Plenary sessions on day three will look at job creation and inclusive growth through PPP; successful models of destination management; education, training and innovation; delivering change and impacts through donor-funded programmes.
“We see this conference as an approach to enable the tourism-dependent countries of the world to have a deeper appreciation of how they can get more from an industry that has become a powerhouse in global economies,” Mr. Bartlett said.
He added that Jamaica’s hosting of this global event will enable the country “to position itself as a global tourism centre for international ideas exchange and cerebration on tourism matters”.
Some of the key speakers confirmed for the conference include President of the Dominican Republic, His Excellency Danilo Medina; Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Vice-President for Countries, Inter-American Development Bank, Alexandre Meira da Rosa; Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro; CEO of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), James Scriven; President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Gloria Guevara Manzo; and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
- Countries: Jamaica