Caribbean tourism icons to be honoured at massive industry conference
Three icons of the Caribbean tourism and hospitality industry will be awarded and celebrated for their respective roles in the development of the sector at a Gala Dinner and Awards Extravaganza next Tuesday.
The black-tie event will be held on the second day of the three-day Global Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth through Sustainable Tourism from November 27-29 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, along with other heads of state and dignitaries and delegates, will be in attendance. President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, will deliver the keynote address.
"This award event will celebrate the three global icons of tourism that the Caribbean has produced; we cannot disclose the names right now, as that would pre-empt things, but one is from the accommodation sector, one from the aviation sector, and the other from cruise," Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett noted at a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week.
"This is from the Caribbean now, its regional impact and, by extension, the way those people have impacted the industry in its reach globally."
The three awardees will be cited for their innovation and global influence in the tourism industry in front of more than 800 high-level decision makers in tourism from 157 countries who will be in attendance.
BROUGHT CARIBBEAN TOURISM TO THE FOREFRONT
Bartlett hailed the gala as a significant way to highlight the involvement of industry players and their impact.
"They, in our minds, have contributed more to bringing Caribbean tourism to the forefront of the world than any other individual has done," he stated.
"The conference is designed to allow tourism to express itself as a critical pillar of economic growth and job creation globally."
Tourism is the fastest-growing industry in the world, with approximately US$1.3 trillion being spent on travels, but the indirect and induced expenditure backflows topped the US$7.6-trillion mark.
One in five workers in the Caribbean is involved in tourism, and more than 50 per cent of the region's gross domestic product (GDP) is derived from tourism.
According to Bartlett, one in five Jamaican workers is connected directly or indirectly to tourism, with the labour force in the Jamaican tourism sector amounting to 106,000 - representing approximately 10 per cent of the total labour market.