UN Tourism reiterates need for resilience through diversity and investment in Jamaica

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UN Tourism put the focus on building a more resilient sector during an official visit to Jamaica.

With the latest UN Tourism data showing international arrivals returning to 87% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of 2023, emphasis has now shifted to protecting the sector from future shocks. The official visit of the delegation led by Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili coincided with the second Global Tourism Resilience Day. A series of high-level meetings in Jamaica also advanced shared efforts around ethical, inclusive and sustainable tourism as well as the priorities of education and investment.

Investments and education to build resilience

Through the work of UN Tourism, Global Tourism Resilience Day (17 September) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2023 with the aim of protecting the sector, including its businesses and workers, from future shocks. The second annual celebration was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, itself one of the leading destinations in the Caribbean and Americas. UN Tourism Secretary-General Pololikashvili joined Jamaican Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett and leaders from the public and private sectors for a special one-day conference on the theme. UN Tourism advanced work for greater resilience through:

Investments: As part of an ongoing collaboration with the Development Bank of Latina American and the Caribbean (CAF), UN Tourism will add to its collection of “Tourism Doing Business” investment guidelines with an edition focused on Jamaica. The guidelines will identify opportunities for investors in the country’s tourism sector, with a focus on sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

Education: In Montego Bay, the UN Tourism delegation advanced plans to work with Jamaica’s Centre for Resilience on a number of new, targeted education programmes. UN Tourism will also work with the Ministry of Tourism to explore plans to establish a Tourism Academy in Collaboration with UN Tourism. The Academy would serve the wider Caribbean region.

“Resilience takes many forms,” the UN Tourism Secretary-General said opening the conference. “Every level of tourism must be ready to deal with shocks and emergencies and able to adapt to whatever challenge comes our way. For many developing countries, including the least developed countries, small island developing states, countries in Africa and middle-income countries – we cannot allow the lifeline of tourism to be cut for too long.”

Jamaica’s Prime Minister welcomes UN Tourism

On the eve of the Global Tourism Resilience Day celebrations, Prime Andrew Holness, met with Secretary-General Pololikashvili to discuss shared priorities for growing tourism in size and impact across both Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. The Prime Minister also invited the UN Tourism leadership to join the official opening of Parliament.

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