UNWTO head for Global Tourism Summit in MoBay

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UNWTO head for Global Tourism Summit in MoBay

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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UNITED Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili is expected to be the key speaker at the first-ever UNWTO Global Summit on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Resilience Management to be hosted in Montego Bay, St James, in May.

The visit is Pololikashvili's first to the region, since being appointed in 2017 on the recommendation of the 105th UNWTO Executive Council.

“We look forward to welcoming him to the Caribbean and having him here for the conference, which will bring together global thought leaders in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and resilience,” Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett told the Jamaica Observer.

The UNWTO Global Summit on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Resilience Management will be held on May 28 and will coincide with the 65th Meeting of the Regional Commission for the Americas (CAM) on May 29. Both events will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.

The regional commissions meet once every year to allow member states to maintain ‎contact with each other, and with the UNWTO secretariat between sessions of the biannual general ‎assembly.

Jamaica currently chairs the UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas for the biennium 2019-2021.

Since 1975, Jamaica has served as vice-president of the general assembly on five occasions, between 1987 and 2011, and has been re-elected twice as a member of the executive council, serving as second vice-chair in 2012, first vice-chair in 2013, and eventually as chairman of the executive council for the period 2014-2015.

Recent figures released by the UNWTO have shown that growth in arrivals during the first nine months of 2019 was led by the Middle East, up nine per cent, followed by Asia and the Pacific and Africa, both of which were up five per cent, Europe up three per cent, and the Americas up two per cent.

However, the two per cent increase in the Americas, which includes Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, reflected a mixed picture, as, while many of the Caribbean island destinations went up eight per cent, showing a fantastic recovery after the serious 2017 hurricanes, arrivals in South America were down three per cent partly due to a decline in Argentinian outbound travel, which affected neighbouring destinations. Both North America and Central America grew by two per cent.

Generating US$1.7 trillion in revenues as of 2018, international tourism remains the third-largest export category behind fuels (US$2.4 trillion) and chemicals (US$2.2 trillion). Within advanced economies, tourism's remarkable performance, after years of sustained growth, has narrowed the gap with automotive product exports.

— Balford Henry

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