Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the event will be held in December 2017 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
“Next year has been declared by the United Nations as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism Development and we are very excited that little Jamaica has been selected to host such a prestigious event,” Bartlett said.
“It will see the coming together of 157 tourism ministers from around the world as well as the participation of some 500 companies that are involved in tourism services and provisions,” he added.
Bartlett said it will be the first time that both arms of the UNWTO – the private sector and public sector – are coming together to put on a global event, and that Jamaica stands to benefit tremendously from being the host nation.
“This is also a huge opportunity for the value-added side of tourism, such as health and wellness network, gastronomy and entertainment and music,” he said, adding that Jamaica’s food will be on display and that culinary presentations and prototypes will be used to showcase the authenticity of the country’s products, and its world-class dishes.
Bartlett said the goal is to maximise on all the benefits that are available, enabling Jamaica to be the number-one tourism destination in the region.
“We are just coming back from China and Armenia and you will be amazed at all the opportunities we have at our fingertips. It is no coincidence that we are being looked at in such a positive light internationally.
“It is about having a sustained presence in the marketplace and also our policy of destination assurance, where our visitors are speaking glowingly about us, especially on the social networks,” he said.
The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.
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