Mon | May 27, 2019

Ja scores big attracting world tourism leaders

Published:Wednesday | January 30, 2019 | 12:31 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer

“Jamaica’s international standing and prestige have risen tremendously, thanks to its efficient and dignified management of the very high level United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) event in Montego Bay,” a founding director of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx) has suggested.

Speaking to The Gleaner at the Montego Bay Convention Centre after the daylong activities of the world’s premier tourism body, Lelei LeLaulu, a founder of both CMEx and the World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development, said: “Such prestigious gatherings at the highest levels are highly sought after by the governments belonging to the UNWTO, which all but 12 countries belong to. So for Jamaica to pull this off is a tremendous achievement for Jamaica and for the Caribbean.”

“Much of the world’s tourism policy has been driven by the more developed countries, but thanks to people like Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the traditional powers that be are now taking the Caribbean and other islands more seriously as they hammer out global policies and strategies,” added LeLaulu, who is also long-time chairman of the Leadership Council of the George Washington University’s tourism department.

“And with higher visibility and prestige comes foreign direct investment, if handled properly. So whatever Jamaica invested in putting these meetings together will have a significant return,” added LeLaulu, who is an adviser on business and sustainability for the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group.

The UNWTO event coincides with the 37th anniversary of Caribbean Travel Marketplace, which is now on at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. More than 1,000 delegates are in the tourism capital for the trade show.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com