Carib Travel

Jamaica elected to UNWTO Executive Council

CHENGDU, China (CMC) | Jamaica has been elected to the executive council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to serve a twoyear term alongside Argentina and Uruguay, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday. It said that the shared arrangement of the four-year membership will allow the three designated seats for the UNWTO’s Commission of the Americas (CAM), of which Jamaica is a member, to be served by more members of the region. The second half of the four-year term will be served by Honduras, Peru and Brazil, beginning in 2019.

“Jamaica stands in solidarity with our colleagues in the region. We are happy that we are able to negotiate within the Commission of the Americas and agree to an amicable solution that will allow more countries within the region to participate in this global decision-making body,” the statement quoted the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Jennifer Griffith, as saying.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett welcomed the election saying: “The confidence placed in Jamaica internationally puts us in a unique position to reap a number of benefits which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the people of Jamaica.

“As a result of this, we have been able to form a number of key partnerships, strengthen linkages with other sectors, and witness an increase in investments,” Bartlett said.

The executive council is responsible for the management and implementation of strategic decisions carried out by the UNWTO. By collectively serving on t council it will allow tourism-dependent countries to work together to better advance the development of the region. “This was an objective of our trip to China and we are happy to have received the support from our fellow states in the Americas. We are confident that with this election, we will be at the helm of the decision-making process of the tourism sector for member states within the Americas and, by extension, the rest of the world,” Griffith said Bartlett, who was unable to attend the meeting due to the unexpected temporary closure at the Norman Manley International Airport, joined his delegation in China on Tuesday.

The statement said he will use the remainder of his trip to participate in the 22nd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, while also promoting the ‘UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’, scheduled for November 27-29 at Montego Bay Convention Centre Jamaica.



Caribbean cruise ports remain closed

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) | Some of the major cruise ports in the Eastern Caribbean have been closed indefinitely as the tourism authorities continue to survey the damage following the passage of Hurricane Irma. The ports on the island of St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands and St Maarten have been closed resulting in altered itineraries for Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

In the case of Norwegian, the vessel will not sail scheduled Eastern Caribbean itineraries until November. They will be replaced by stops in the Western Caribbean, while Royal Caribbean will replace St Thomas and St Maarten with St Kitts Nevis and St Croix.

Tortola in the British Virgin Islands that lso served Disney Cruise Line,Norwegian, Celebrity and Viking Sea, is also closed.

Meanwhile St Croix, also in the British Virgin Islands, will welcome up to four thousand passengers on Sunday when Royal Caribbean’s MS Adventure of the Seas docks at the Ann E Abramson pier in Frederiksted. Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty said St Croix escaped the worst of Hurricane Irma and despite initial power outages, the island is now ready and poised to welcome visitors, as hotels and visitor attractions are up and running.

She said awareness of St Croix is critically important and the Department of Tourism’s sales and marketing teams are already strategically positioning St Croix in the marketplace.

“St Croix will lead our tourism positioning for the foreseeable future. We have already started to shift our marketing strategy to focus on St Croix, while we rebuild St Thomas and St John,” the commissioner said.

She added that the much-needed injection of economic activity from visitors to S Croix, together with activity from relief workers and construction, will ultimately help St Thomas and St John rebound and recover sustainably.

“Tourism is an important industry for us in the US Virgin Islands and we are depending on the resilience of tourism and of our people to revitalize our economy and support our residents across both districts,” the commissioner said.