UN Tourism Secretary-General outlines plans to boost job creation in the Caribbean

UN Tourism Secretary-General, His Excellency Zurab Zurab Pololikashvili

UN Tourism Secretary-General H.E. Zurab Pololikashvili has outlined plans to boost job creation and investment in the Caribbean’s tourism industry. Mr. Pololikashvili was a keynote speaker during the just concluded 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Day Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre.
Underscoring the importance of building the resilience of tourism in the Caribbean, he stated: “We need presence; we need to support families whose income is only from tourism and agriculture, and fishing.” That’s why, he said, with the support of ministers present, “I promise all Jamaicans and all Caribbeans that we’ll be here talking about how to develop the tourist industry and how to create new jobs.”

The Secretary-General underscored that jobs were crucial, as well as education, stressing that UN Tourism would be focussing more on job creation and investments. He added that: “We need more money here, more foreign direct investments in the region.” While promising that more would come, he warned that “it’s not easy, it takes time.”

The conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism, UN Tourism (formerly the United Nations World Tourism Organization, UNWTO), and the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), which is being rebranded as the Global Tourism Resilience Centre (GTRC), under the theme, “Navigating the Future of Tourism Resilience.”

Also speaking at the event, which ran from February 16-17, Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett said “understanding the impact and the role that tourism is going to play in how the world changes and morphs into the future is important for us as we try to bring the next generation into an understanding of this great economic activity called tourism.”

Underscoring the importance of the industry, Mr. Bartlett said it was now regarded as one of the fastest ways of transferring wealth, arguably from the rich to the poor.

“So, tourism, in that space, has now become the main driver of this process of building capital across the world, and the value of tourism is that it is not really extracted. It can be but it is not; it adds value every step of the way and it encourages creativity and innovation,” he said.

Minister Bartlett also posited that tourism responded to the demands of people in a holistic way “so that anyone and almost everyone, can benefit from tourism activity.”