Jamaica’s position as a leader in the global tourism industry has been further bolstered after the Caribbean nation secured the post of second vice chair of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Executive Council.
This significant achievement follows a recent vote held on the margins of the UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. After an impressive lobbying effort by the Jamaican delegation, Jamaica received a resounding 20 votes, while Lithuania garnered 14.
The Executive Council is a highly esteemed body and is responsible for the management and implementation of strategic decisions carried out by the UNWTO.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, expressed pleasure at Jamaica’s election, stating: “We are greatly honoured and heartened by Jamaica’s election to the UNWTO Executive Council as the second vice chair. This achievement reflects our unwavering commitment to sustainable and innovative tourism and underscores the trust the global community places in Jamaica’s leadership in the travel and hospitality sector. We eagerly anticipate our meaningful contributions to the Council’s work in this capacity, with a focus on promoting the vital role of tourism in economic development and driving positive change in the industry.”
The twenty-fifth session of the UNWTO General Assembly is being held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from October 16 to 20, 2023. This session represents the first assembly in the post-COVID-19 era, with the full participation of approximately 159 member states. The General Assembly serves as the supreme organ of the UNWTO and convenes once every two years, with delegates representing both full and associate members. The discussions during the General Assembly encompass a wide array of topics, including tourism’s role in sustainability, investment, competitiveness, education, and the future of tourism.
Jamaica’s election as the second vice chair follows its recent selection to serve on the UNWTO Executive Council from 2023 to 2027, alongside Colombia. This decision was made during the 68th UNWTO Commission for the Americas Meeting (CAM) in Quito, Ecuador, in June.