Bartlett Defends ‘Incalculable’ Value of UNWTO Conference


Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett is dismissing suggestions by the Opposition People’s National Party that the recently held World Tourism Organization, UNWTO conference in Montego Bay, St. James was poorly attended.

In a statement to the media yesterday, Opposition spokesman on Tourism, Dr. Wykeham McNeill demanded that the Minister confirm if only 250 delegates attended the conference.

However, Minister Bartlett says the recently-held conference is the largest to have been staged by the UNWTO.

He says at least 1,400 delegates were in attendance.

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He says the guests were involved in a variety of activities and at times they weren’t all gathered in one place.

The Minister is questioning where Dr. McNeill got his figures, as he says the Opposition spokesman did not attend the conference.

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The Opposition had also questioned the amount of money spent on the conference and whether the nation got value for it.

Minister Bartlett says over $100-million was budgeted for the conference. He says the value gained from it is incalculable.

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Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.