Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett will be holding discussions with leading experts in gastronomy at the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, taking place in Donostia, San Sebastian, Spain, from May 8-9, 2017. He says these discussions will be vital to the further development of the gastronomy product locally.
“Gastronomy is one of the fastest growing reasons for people to travel. In fact, the international gastronomy market is approximately US$150 billion. Therefore, as we continue to position Jamaica as an ideal destination for food tourism, through the Tourism Linkages Network, I believe we still have room to grow the market and ensure that every Jamaican can reap the benefits – which is why this forum is important,” said Minister Bartlett.
According to the UNWTO, the Forum on Gastronomy Tourism will provide an opportunity for leading experts in gastronomy tourism to discuss the current situation and challenges in Gastronomy Tourism worldwide, inclusive of areas of management and innovation in the sector.
The forum will be held in a new format, with different events being held in various gastronomy hubs across the Basque Country, showcasing the variation of products offered.
“While the discussions at the forum are of particular interest to me, I am equally pleased that the event will be hosted at the world-renowned Basque Culinary Centre. This is an institution which has a very similar teaching style to what I hope to establish in Jamaica through the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), which we will be establishing in the island next year,” shared Minister Bartlett.
The JCTI will serve to accelerate the transformation of tourism enterprises by engaging institutions and persons to stimulate and initiate new ideas as well as harnessing science and technology to transfer knowledge into practice within the sector.
Much like Basque, the institution will operate like a laboratory where students will get hands-on experience in a modern institution that also offers training to acquire internationally recognized academic credentials and certification.
While in Spain, the Minister will also be attending the the 105th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council, where in his capacity as chairman of the UNWTO’s executive council for affiliates, he will lobby for one of the fiveseats allocated to the Regional Commission of the Americas for the period 2018-2021.
He will also use his trip to conduct a series of promotional activities for the ‘UNWTO, Government of Jamaica and World Bank Group Conference on Jobs & Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’, which will be held in November at the Montego Bay Convention Centre
The Minister departed the island yesterday (May 06) to attend the gastronomy forum in San Sebastian and was joined by the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Jennifer Griffith. He will to return to the island on May 13, 2017.