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Point of Interest

Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment celebrates Tourism Awareness Week

With the tourism industry currently helping to drive Jamaica's socio-economic development, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, its agencies and industry partners will seek to further raise awareness about the transformative power of tourism through Tourism Awareness Week (TAW), which will be observed from September 27-October 3, 2015.

The week-long celebration commences on World Tourism Day (WTD) and will be celebrated under the United Nations World Tourism Organisation's (UNWTO) theme for WTD: One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities. It promises to be engaging, with a wealth of activities which will help to raise awareness about the vital contribution the sector is making to Jamaica.

In 2012, international tourist arrivals crossed the threshold of one billion in a single year for the first time, and according to the UNWTO, we will reach the two billion mark by 2030. Therefore, the theme being observed this year emphasises the fact that the tourism sector has grown significantly over the decades and will continue to positively impact global development. On an international scale the theme also seeks "to raise awareness amongst decision makers and the general public of tourism's global socio-economic impact and its capability to drive positive change in countries, communities, and ultimately people's lives across the world."

"Over the past few years, tourism has proven to be a strong and resilient sector and a significant contributor to the global economic recovery. International tourist arrivals reported by destinations around the world reached 1.1 billion in 2014, a 4.7 per cent increase over the previous year," stated Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill.

Locally, the theme also highlights the tremendous opportunities tourism provides to a myriad of sectors. This is of utmost importance to the ministry, and several strategies have been implemented to increase the impact the sector has on the livelihood of Jamaicans and communities across the island. McNeill explained that "one such venture, is the formulation of the Tourism Linkages Hub, which has not only analysed opportunities offered across the sector but also seeks to continuously find innovative ways to enhance linkages between tourism and key sectors such as: manufacturing, agriculture as well as entertainment and the creative industries".

The week of activities for Tourism Awareness Week will include: a social media competition, the launch of a poster and essay competition; a Jamaica Tourist Board 60th Anniversary Exhibition and Public Lecture on Thursday, October 1 at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Library (Tom Redcam Library); and a special TAW/Experience Jamaica Exhibition on Friday, October 2, downstairs the ministry's offices at 64 Knutsford Boulevard. 

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