Jamaica hosts sustainable tourism conference

Travel and tourism’s economic impact around the world is, in a word, huge — and it’s growing.

In November, the “UNWTO (United National World Travel Organization), the Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnership for Sustainable Tourism” conference will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Jamaica.

The meeting is the result of the collaboration between 800 tourism decision makers from 157 countries, including the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Chemonics, George Washington University and the U.N. General Assembly.

The focus of the meeting is to bring awareness that tourism, done the right way, has a tremendous capacity to create good jobs; provide opportunities for inclusion and education of minorities and young people; and contribute to preserving cultural heritage and the environment.

Done the wrong way, it can do harm.

In 2016, the UNWTO declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. The group created Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that state that sustainable tourism must promote:

• Inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
• Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction.
• Resource efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change.
• Cultural values, diversity, and heritage.Mutual understanding, peace and security.

It is the economic and environmental sustainability of travel that makes the difference to the places people go. For those destinations, travel as an economic driver can only be considered truly sustainable if it generates good jobs and raises standards of living.

Sustainable travel must stimulate trade and linkages between the destination and the travel providers, respecting and protecting the natural and cultural environments that draw all those tourists in the first place.

As travelers need to be aware of their impact on destinations, tourism stakeholders, hotels, local governments, entertainment, and food and beverage…

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