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Jamaica and Paraguay to Sign MOU to Facilitate Tourism Cooperation

Jamaica and Paraguay to Sign MOU to Facilitate Tourism Cooperation

Jamaica and the South American nation of Paraguay are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at building regional tourism and boosting growth in the hospitality industries in both countries.

The announcement was made as Minister Bartlett held bilateral talks at the Montego Bay Convention Centre with Paraguay’s Minister of Tourism, Her Excellency Sofía Montiel de Afara. “Jamaica and Paraguay have enjoyed fraternal relations for a long time and we think now that tourism offers an opportunity for the deepening of that relationship between our two countries,” said Mr Bartlett. He saw the talks as also making a statement of collaboration.

With all tourism destinations now engaged in devising strategies for recovery from the devastating fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister Bartlett stated that: “We know that recovery for tourism is not linear, we know also that to attempt to recover alone is a futile one; we are convinced that we can recover together, stronger and better and that it will inure to the economic development not just of the Americas but more specifically, to our individual countries.”

The tourism ministers noted that there were several areas under consideration for the MOU, such as building the capacity of small and medium tourism enterprises, which Mr. Bartlett stressed, constitute more than 80 percent of tourism entities globally. The aim, he said, was to look at building capacity, enabling greater levels of creative output from these enterprises “but more so for them to be able to manage better and be able to contribute to the economic value chain and enrich their own experience.”

Multi-destination tourism was also identified as a critical component to enable a larger flow of visitors from far-flung destinations and the need to harmonize protocols on border controls and health to facilitate seamless movement between the cooperating countries. Air connectivity was also identified as a key area for attention.


Also included in their discussion was collaboration in the training and development of the human capital, as a large number of tourism workers from various areas have not returned to the jobs they held prior to the pandemic and there was the critical need to bolster the industry’s labour force. “The Jamaica Centre of Tourism Innovation (JCTI) will play a role with our partners in Paraguay in enabling training and certification of a number of key workers,” said Minister Bartlett.

Minister Montiel expressed pleasure at being in Jamaica and said her country would be keen on having Minister Bartlett chair a working group to fine-tune the MOU that he hopes will be signed when he takes up an invitation to visit Paraguay.

Speaking through an interpreter, Minister Montiel said: “It is important for us to have this type of meeting because it is not alone that it’s going to work, it’s together between the Americas.” She said the invitation to Minister Bartlett was also “to work as tourism families on innovations and capacity building.”