Jamaica Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett says that for tourism to be truly sustainable there must be greater equality among all stakeholders and a more equitable distribution of tourism earnings.
He was speaking at the 110th Executive Council meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Monday (June 17) at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. The three-day Executive Council meeting is taking place from June 16 – 18, 2019.
With revenues from international tourism totaling US$1.7 trillion in 2018 and one in 11 of the world’s jobs generated by tourism, Minister Bartlett said, “It begs the question of the distribution of this enormous wealth and the impact that it is having on the highly tourism-dependent regions of the earth.”
He noted a real concern as many of the countries that have the highest level of tourism dependence, like the Caribbean with a GDP dependence of 40% or more and the US Virgin Islands with 98.5% dependence on tourism, are characterized also by high unemployment, a high debt to GDP ratio, social concerns and high levels of income inequality.