“We must mention our sister islands that were devastated by hurricanes. In some cases, tourism was the single industry and in many cases the major industry in those islands, and they must and will rebuild,” Mr. Holness said.
“However, this time they must factor in disaster resilience, recovery and adaptation in a systematic and institutional way. The world has been forced to acknowledge that there is urgent need for responsibility, adaptation and resilience as we recognise our changing realities. Climate change is real, and it will disproportionately affect those of us who are least prepared to respond,” he said.
The Prime Minister was giving the keynote address at the 27th annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James.
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said the upcoming United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference will be another opportunity for Jamaica to be showcased on the world stage.
The Prime Minister said it is only fitting, with 2017 being designated the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, that Jamaica will proudly host such a prestigious conference.
Mr. Holness pointed out that sustainability is a core feature of Jamaica’s growth agenda, adding that “we must find the right balance so that we have growth”, but not at the expense of the environment.
He noted that Jamaica has a well-known and well-loved brand, and that through events like JAPEX, “we harness our collective capabilities and build on our strengths.”
“Our brand is a fusion of our music, our hospitality, our culture, our food, our entertainment, our creativity and our innovativeness, all coming together to create a distinct meaning of a Jamaican product or service,” Mr. Holness added.
The Prime Minister welcomed the participants and urged them to “take advantage of the world of business opportunities all in one place”.
- Countries: Jamaica