New Kingston, Jamaica came alive last week Friday as large crowds converged on the Tourism Centre on Knutsford Boulevard to view the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment’s World Tourism Day (WTD) ‘Tourism Awareness Exhibition’ and enjoy the entertainment and activities.
This year’s observance of World Tourism Day was merged with the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Experience Jamaica initiative to boost tourism awareness around the day’s theme, ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, and promote the sector’s central role to Jamaica’s economic livelihood.
Addressing government officials, tourism stakeholders and patrons at the opening of the one-day exhibition, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Dr. Wykeham McNeill, called on every Jamaican to embrace the 2013 World Tourism Day theme in support of the United Nations International Year of Water Co-operation.
“We must manage our water resources not just for Jamaica and the tourism industry but for every Jamaican that lives here and for generations to come,” Dr. McNeill said. “For us to have the best tourism product we must protect our water resources and this includes better coastal management and improving the way we handle our watersheds.
“These issues must be highlighted as we focus on how we properly manage our water resources.”
More than 25 tourism industry partners and agencies were on hand to showcase their goods and services, including Milk River Hotel and Spa, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Fly Jamaica, Dolphin Cove and the University of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
Patrons were treated to the sweet sound of Digicel Rising Star 2013 winner, saxophonist Verlando Small, in his first official performance since winning the competition. Patrons also vied for prizes which included airline tickets and complimentary passes to local attractions and hotels.
The day’s observation was spearheaded by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), of which Jamaica is a longstanding member. World Tourism Day is aimed at raising global awareness of the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate tourism’s importance and its social, cultural, political and economic value worldwide.