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Jamaica hosts Caribbean Tourism Summit and Outlook Seminar

NAYABA ARINDE Amsterdam News Editor | 6/27/2012, 5:45 p.m.
Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, hosted the successful Caribbean...
Jamaica hosts Caribbean Tourism Summit and Outlook Seminar

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, the Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, hosted the successful Caribbean Tourism Summit and Outlook Seminar in Montego Bay last week. Delegates from all over the world came to discuss tourism's role as "the lifeblood of many Caribbean economies."

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) organized the two-day seminar, which brought in journalists from all over the world, including the Amsterdam News.

John Lynch, director of tourism for the Jamaica Tourist Board, delivered the welcome address for the seminar, which included the tourism elite from around the world, including representatives from the World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, Hilton International, Choice Hotels International and JetBlue Airways.

As Jamaica prepares to celebrate its independence in typical grandiose style, tourism bigs sat down to discuss how to make the international tourism industry stronger, fairer and more inclusive. Issues from fighting the British-imposed extended taxes to airlifts to striving for better inter-Caribbean communications were all touched upon by a series of engaging panels and an attentive audience.

The Caribbean remains the most tourism-dependent region in the world; in 2011, travel and tourism directly and indirectly accounted for over 2 million jobs, or 12 percent of the region's total employment.