Industry Update
Press Release15 February 2017

CTO Council Of Ministers Discusses Best Practices, Sustainable Tourism Efforts; Endorse Hosting UN World Tourism Conference

Event to be Held in Montego Bay, Jamaica Nov. 27-29

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Paradise Island, The Bahamas -- Hon. Obie Wilchcombe, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), chaired his first meeting of the Council of Tourism Ministers and Commissioners since being elected Chairman last September, resulting in positive discussions on best practices, funding cooperative regional activities and hosting the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development next November. The Council of Ministers meeting took place during the recently completed Caribbean Travel Marketplace on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

As the policy-making body of the CTO, the Council of Ministers worked as a team during the January meeting to decide on matters related to funding on behalf of the Organization's Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking members. The Minister also discussed using the latest technology for more effective passenger facilitation, and maximizing the benefits of public sector/private sector partnerships to improve the Caribbean's competitive position. The meeting also determined the way forward in regard to championing the cause of Caribbean tourism at the highest levels in the Caribbean and around the world.


Committing to Sustainable Tourism

The Council of Ministers then endorsed the hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development and will have the event for the first time in the Caribbean on Nov. 27 - 29, 2017 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

"We are pleased Jamaica will serve as the host destination for the event. This UNWTO global conference is a first for the Americas and will bring together high-level decision-makers from 157 countries. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is scheduled to address the gathering," said Minister Obie Wilchcombe. "While all nations face common global challenges, CTO fully supports practices to cooperatively sustain the livelihood of our tourism product through protecting social, economic, and environmental developments," he added.

This important conference comes at a time when CTO is celebrating 2017 as the Caribbean Year of Adventure, which coincides with the UNWTO celebrating 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.

"The Caribbean's active role in the UNWTO provides an opportunity for our members to access a range of essential resources and to form partnerships with tourism leaders from every Continent. We commend Jamaica for its role in securing this event for the region" added Minister Wilchcombe.

"We also are pleased that Jamaica will serve as the host destination for such an important gathering of public and private sector representatives dedicated to sustainable tourism in the Caribbean - and the world," said Edmund C. Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. "As this is the first time that this global conference will be held in the Caribbean, it is crucial that all our member nations bring their best to the deliberations next November," Bartlett added.

"The strong support of this event from Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Jamaica is an indication of their commitment to sustainable tourism and protection of the environment for citizens in Jamaica and tourists alike," said Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development is designed with the following overall goals:

  • Share replicable best practices of partnerships in/for tourism
  • Develop list of international development and funding opportunities and share worldwide
  • Provide governments enhanced development/investment roadmaps to enhance success with donors/investors
  • Foster exchange among governments, investors and donors to identify priorities/obstacles
  • Support governments in preparing investment opportunities to announce worldwide

Attendees will be able to participate in sessions designed to educate about sustainable partnerships with the following topics:

  • Inclusive and sustainable economic growth
  • Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction
  • Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change
  • Cultural values, diversity and heritage
  • Mutual understanding, peace and security

Presentation of investment project opportunities will be featured focusing on the following central themes:

  • Tourism infrastructure (e.g. BOT)
  • Privatization (e.g. parks, heritage, airports, etc.)
  • Concessions
  • Visitor Services & Destination Management

For more information about the UNWTO Global Conference on Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism for Development, visit

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization please visit Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at Connect with CTO on Facebook at

About The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with headquarters in Barbados, offices in New York and London and representation in Canada, is the Caribbean's tourism development agency comprising membership of the region's finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO's vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism - One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

Johnson JohnRose
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