Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has announced that the “UNWTO, Government of Jamaica, and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism” being held in November in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has received full endorsements from over 21 African ministers from the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Commission for Africa.
“My visit to Africa has been a resounding success in terms of the approaches we have made to the African Ministers through their Commission and the responses they have given us in regard to the conference. We are very pleased to have the endorsement of 21 ministers and we were assured that another 15 or so will also participate,” said Minister Bartlett.
The announcement was made at the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, on April 20, 2017.
Minister Bartlett has also been using these engagements in Africa to discuss the possible partnerships for sustainable tourism for development with potential investors, donor agencies, the academic community and other tourism stakeholders, who will be targeted to attend the upcoming global conference.
The Minister is currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, attending the 42nd Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for the Middle East and the UNWTO and Arabian Travel Market Ministerial Forum on Tourism’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic growth and diversification in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Two of the expected deliverables from the UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism will be an Outcome Declaration and the publication of the second UNWTO Affiliate Members Global Report on Public-Private-Partnerships. The UNWTO will also present a report to the UN General Assembly in 2018, with regards to the activities of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, of which the conference will play a major role.
Ethiopian Airlines to be official African carrier for GOJ UNWTO Global Conference
Minister Bartlett also announced that one of Africa’s largest airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, has been designated as the official carrier for African States attending the “UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism.”
The decision was made during Minister Bartlett’s just-concluded trip to Ethiopia, following a meeting between Minister Bartlett and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam.
“Ethiopian Airlines is one of the most accomplished airlines in Africa. It has excellent connectivity into the United States, which will make that arrangement work perfectly. In fact, Ethiopian Airlines has codeshare arrangement with United Airlines, which offers daily flights into Montego Bay. So, I am very happy to be partnering with them for this very important conference,” said Minister Bartlett.
He added, “The airline has shared that this is an excellent opportunity to become the carrier for the entire African region and to be able to bring people into the Caribbean for the conference would be a good start to setting up connectivity within the region. We think also that the opportunity for the exchange of ideas, practices, technology and marketing expertise are going to serve us well in those four countries in particular.”
The Minister also shared that during his discussions with the UNWTO Commission for Africa, memoranda of understanding (MOUs) were formulated to create arrangements to increase connectivity between the African states and Jamaica.
“We were able to discuss and to agree on MOUs with the Ministry of Tourism for Ethiopia, the Ministry of Tourism for Ghana, the Ministry of Tourism for Cape Verde, and the Ministry of Tourism for Nigeria. The importance for those four MOUs is going to be very noticeable during the conference and after,” said the Minister.
“Cape Verde, for example, has an enormous Diaspora in the Boston area. We feel that the connection of Jet Blue Airways out of Boston is going to be significant in allowing connectivity from that area. The middle class of Nigeria is also growing rapidly and the affordability therefore to come to destinations like Jamaica is strong,” said Minister Bartlett.
Minister Bartlett is slated to return to Jamaica on April 29, 2017.
PHOTO: Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett delivers remarks at the 59th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for Africa in Addis Abba, Ethiopia. on April 20, 2017. While there, he announced that the ‘UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’ being held in November in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has received full endorsements from over 21 African Ministers from the Commission. Minister Bartlett is currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is expected to return to the island on April 29, 2017.