Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett travels to Geneva, Switzerland today (December 17, 2017), to present the recently unveiled Montego Bay Declaration, to delegates attending the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Closing Ceremony for the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
“The Declaration of Montego Bay will become incorporated in the documents and the outcomes of the International Year of Sustainability. This is the perhaps the biggest legacy that we could hope for as a small destination – that our name will be indelibly etched in the lexicon of tourism references so that children yet unborn, will know that Montego Bay existed,” said Minister Bartlett.
The 15-point Declaration was one of the major outcomes of the recently concluded UNWTO Global Conference on Sustainable Tourism held in Montego Bay from November 27 to 29. It was first presented by Minister Bartlett and Executive Director of the UNWTO, Carlos Vogeler, on November 29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.
The Minister received the invitation to make the presentation from the UNWTO’s outgoing Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai, for the event which will take place on December 19, 2017.
“One of the elements I am most excited about from the Declaration is the establishment of a Global Resilience Centre – which we need here in the Caribbean, especially to build the capacity to respond to natural disruptions. Now the Caribbean, and Jamaica, will be the centre of an international resilience centre that will have the attention of the world,” he said.
The Minister also revealed that preliminary discussions have begun with representatives from the University of West Indies, Mona to establish the centre at their facilities. He also noted that 18 institutions from across the globe, have already indicted their willingness to work with Jamaica to establish the centre.
The United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. In the context of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Year has promoted the change in policies, business practices and consumer behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism sector that can contribute to all the 17 SDGs.
The aim of the closing ceremony is to bring the international community together to commit to realizing the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through tourism, at the national and global level. Most importantly, it brings to a close, the initiatives and actions initiated this year to provide a roadmap for the global community at large, to embrace sustainable practices and maximize the engagement in the global development agenda.