Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart was yesterday presented with the UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter by President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, David Scowsill (second from right), as UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai (left) and Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Hugh Riley (right) look on, at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
PM receives Open Letter on Travel and Tourism
Sat, 09/17/2016 - 12:00am
In recognition of tourism’s vital contribution to socio-economic development, Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Freundel Stuart has been presented with the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism.
Yesterday, Barbados’ Prime Minister accepted the Letter from UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, and the President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, on the occasion of the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), held at the Hilton Barbados Resort.
The UNWTO/WTTC Open Letter outlines Travel & Tourism’s value as one of the world’s largest generators of jobs, a powerful driver of socio-economic growth and development and a key player in the transformation to the Green Economy.
Already 82 Heads of State and Government, including fellow Caribbean countries the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica, have received the letter.
“This is testimony to the fact that there is worldwide recognition of the importance of an alliance between the UNWTO, the WTTC and global Governments,” Stuart expressed.
He went on to observe that at this stage of tourism development, optimal support from regional governments, key international organisations and major players such as airlines, hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, car rentals and travel agencies are paramount in truly harnessing the potential of tourism to make the world a better place for all global citizens.
“Certainly, the ideal platform for this support is through the UNWTO, which facilitates a global forum for discussions on tourism policy issues and provides leadership and support to the sector on competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments; fostering tourism education and training, and is dedicated to ensuring that tourism is used as an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects.
"Concurrently, the WTTC represents a unifying force amongst the major players in the travel and tourism industry. This promotes public and provide sector partnerships and awareness of travel and tourism as a top priority of governmental agendas,” he indicated.
As far as governments are concerned, the Prime Minister believes that they must establish and facilitate effective regulations and mechanisms to encourage private sector-led investment and the adaptation of technological and innovative solutions. He explained that would assist in developing the tourism industry and ultimately in developing their economies.
Revealing an increase in tourist arrivals from CARICOM, cruise ships and total stay-over expenditure, Stuart urged tourism official gathered for SOTIC 2016 to use their combined resources to enhance the contribution of the sector to the global goals of sustainable and universal development.
“In so doing, we must encourage sustainable economic growth by creating decent jobs that have viable linkages across other sectors such as agriculture, thereby addressing and alleviating issues relating to poverty and unemployment.”
“It is certainly our responsibility to devise feasible methods and processes to leverage the dominance of the travel and tourism industry. The Open Letter presented by the UNWTO and the WTCC is therefore a step in the right direction,” he said.
Scowsill thanked the Government of Barbados for its enduring commitment to the travel and tourism industry and the promotion of the country around the world.
Also recognising that almost 40 per cent of the Barbadian economy and two in five of the island’s jobs are somehow attributed to travel and tourism, he expressed: “If anyone wants to understand how our sector can be a force for economic growth, job creation, self -respect and to act as a force for good in this world, it is here in Barbados.”