Minister Bartlett to participate in WTTC Global Summit in Saudi Arabia

Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett to push Montego Bay as multi-destination tourism hub out of Middle East.

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, is heading a team of Caribbean tourism officials to Saudi Arabia to cement a major multi-destination tourism arrangement with leading airlines in the Middle East.

Mr. Bartlett who left the island on the weekend, will also be a key panelist during a high-level discussion on “Enhancing Our Resilience” at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from November 28 – December 1, 2022,

Jamaica Tourism Minister Bartlett said on his trip to the Middle East, he will be coordinating a group of Caribbean Ministers meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Airlines in Riyadh, which is being facilitated by Minister of Tourism for Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb. The GCC owns some 13 airlines with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia dominating the market.

“The purpose of this engagement is to bring the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market into the Caribbean.”

“This is a dream that we’ve had and a program that I’ve worked on for a number of years to build multi-destination tourism and to enable new markets from the far-flung areas to come into the Caribbean,” Mr. Bartlett divulged.

He added that the intention was to have the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay serve as a hub for these airlines and from there distribute to the rest of the region.

Pointing out that this will be the first time that any Caribbean team will be meeting with travel partners in the Middle East for the purpose of attracting new visitors to the region, Minister Bartlett said they will also be meeting with a number of tour operators, travel agents and other airlines.

As one of his assignments at the WTTC Global Summit Mr. Bartlett will also chair a task force on global tourism workers employment arrangement. “The purpose of this task force is to build out a global charter for employment among tourism workers coming out of the recession fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he disclosed.

Stating that there was an awareness that many things had changed, Minister Bartlett said “we recognize that we have to develop a new global tourism labor arrangement that will be more attractive to workers and will enable a more sustainable working ecosystem for the tourism industry.”

Mr. Bartlett will participate in the panel discussion on “Enhancing our Resilience” on Tuesday, November 29. He joins Hon. Sylvestre Radegonde, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Seychelles; Dan Richards, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Global Rescue; Robin Ingle, Chief Executive Officer, Ingle International Inc; Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner, Global Travel Practice Leader, FINN Partners with Arnie Weissmann, Editor in Chief, Travel Weekly as moderator.

The session will explore how the global travel and tourism sector can “use the learnings from COVID-19 to better prepare for crises ranging from climate change to biodiversity loss.”

Several other far-reaching topics of utmost importance to tourism globally, will be explored during the summit, including Travel for a Better Future; To Recovery and Beyond; The Return of Travel and Capitalizing on Untapped Opportunities.

Minister Bartlett is slated to return to the island on December 2, 2022.

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Linda Hohnholz