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Tourism Diplomacy a Gateway to Sustainable Investments

November 21, 2023

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, has emphasised once more the significance of tourism diplomacy as a key factor in increasing investment in Jamaica’s tourism product and drawing opportunities for sustainable growth to the nation, as the country continues its strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the recent inaugural CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit in Riyadh, where he was instrumental in guiding conversations about resilience building and sustainability, Minister Bartlett made the revelation.

Along with 14 other heads of state from the Caribbean, the tourism minister was a member of the group led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the summit. Regional leaders had high-level talks with His Royal Highness Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, his cabinet members, and representatives of the private sector over a three-day period. Through the event, new perspectives on investments and tourists were formed, marking a significant shift in the geopolitical arena.

It was mentioned that, at Minister Bartlett’s invitation, His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Saudi Arabian Minister of Tourism, paid Jamaica’s first visit in 2021 before the summit. In an effort to strengthen ties between the two nations’ tourism industries and encourage investment, Mr. Bartlett has also travelled to Saudi Arabia to carry on his conversations with Minister Al Khateeb and other relevant parties. 

“This summit is a testament to the power of tourism as a tool for not only tourism related investments but also for peace and diplomacy,” Minister Bartlett declared. It unites countries with disparate cultural and religious origins, spurred on by a shared goal and steadfast resolve to enhance the quality of life for their people.

The Saudi Crown Prince, the driving force behind Saudi Vision 2030, spoke to leaders and ministers in the travel and tourism sector during the meeting. He presented the Kingdom’s strategy plan, which prioritises tourism and aims to lessen the Kingdom’s dependency on oil. One of the main goals is to host World EXPO 2030 in Riyadh, and Caribbean countries’ cooperation is essential.

Caribbean leaders met with representatives of the private sector to discuss potential investment opportunities during the summit’s side events. Minister Al-Khateeb emphasised the Kingdom’s dedication to constructive and long-lasting change. He said, “The Kingdom can achieve global prosperity and development through international cooperation, guided by its wise leadership.”

In addition, Minister Bartlett said, “The meeting between Caribbean leaders and Saudi Arabia’s private sector companies revealed promising opportunities.” This statement reflects the growth potential that has been unlocked as a result of the summit. The flourishing private sector in the Kingdom strives to promote long-term transformation, guaranteeing growth and success for both domestic and foreign companies. Saudi Arabia is the perfect strategic partner for small island developing governments and Caribbean tourism partners because of their global view.

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