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TTC Special. Jamaica: Grand tourism world conference in 2017

TTC Special: Jamaica: Grand tourism world conference in 2017
By F.Martin

TTC Service.- Caribbean tourism will have a great time in 2017 when Jamaica organize a grand tourism conference that would have 157 tourism ministers from various countries across the globe participating in the event.

Certainly, December 2017 is a still relatively distant date, but few predict that in a year the problems facing the region will be settled. The meeting would be the United Nations Global Conference on Tourism Development, and 2017 the International Year for Sustainable Tourism Development. World tourism will have the opportunity to analyze the near future of the sector as well as its scope and also the developmental strategies that would be adopted for promoting tourism.

Experts said that it will be also the first time that the private and public-sector arms of the UNWTO are coming together for a global event. Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett announced that the conference will take place in Montego Bay Convention Centre and added that is also a “huge opportunity for the value-added side of tourism, such as health and wellness network, gastronomy and entertainment and music.”

“We are just coming back from China and Armenia. You will be amazed at all the opportunities we have at our fingertips. It is no coincidence that we are being looked at in such a positive light internationally” Bartlett added. “It is about having a sustained presence in the marketplace and also our policy of destination assurance, where our visitors are speaking glowingly about us, especially on the social networks,” he said.

The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of a sustainable and universally accessible tourism. It promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability, and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.

But a year is not enough to find solutions to serious problems that already existed in 2015 and are worsening on 2016. One of the crucial is the climate change. The global sea levels are still rising. Other related issues are trends of giant’s hurricanes ad Matthew, extreme periods of dryness, and those marked by extreme rainfall.

Experts said the United Nations for many years has been creating awareness on these issues. Despite this all, only a few islands’ governments and NGOs are addressing the critical issue of climate change. Probably the Jamaica conference would have to analyze also the international oil prices in December 2017. Oil prices have dropped a year ago to around half for a barrel of oil.

Specialized studies insist that the price decline affects the Caribbean directly. Caribbean islands are dependent on foreign direct investments and tourist arrivals from Russia and Venezuela, which, at a lower oil price, have trouble balancing their budgets.

The regional poverty is a heavy burden on the Caribbean backs since more than a century. The global trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer is also reflected on these islands. So they are crime and drugs. Is an also serious problem the threat of contagious diseases like Zika and Chikunguyan.

All these problems and others that have not been mentioned must be on the agenda of the UNWTO conference 2017, in recognition that the Caribbean is working to solve them.