CARICOM Heads Place Tourism ON Summit Agenda – Leaders Focus On Regional Efforts To Strengthen Sector

Regional leaders at the ongoing CARICOM summit in Montego Bay turned their attention to the tourism sector today, as travel and tourism are critical to regional economies, comprising 12.9 percent of GDP.

The discussions have focused on regional approaches to recovery to the global recession which has hit Caribbean economies hard.  

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett speaking against the background of a regional marketing thrust noted that such an effort must be given urgent attention by the various countries. “Our approach must rationalize regional funds, not only for tourism but for other critical issues such as security and education,” noted Bartlett.

The Tourism Minister is part of Jamaica’s delegation attending the 31st Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) being held in Montego Bay from July 4-7, 2010. Heads of Government from CARICOM states and Associate Member states, and special guests are in attendance, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Khan.