Global conference on tourism, jobs and inclusive growth opens in Jamaica

A GLOBAL conference on tourism, jobs and inclusive growth is taking place from November 27-29, gathering 1500 participants and over 150 speakers in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

The conference is organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Government of Jamaica, the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank aims to set a new collaborative framework for tourism moving towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is an official event of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.

Under the theme ‘Jobs and Inclusive Growth - Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism’ the event was opened by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Michael Holness and included special addresses from President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia. 

The conference is aiming to set a global agenda of partnerships for tourism in view of the 2030 Agenda and advance the contribution of the sector to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 8 on economic growth and jobs and SDG 17 on partnerships for the goals. 

Sessions are looking into partnership models in such areas as investment, infrastructure, international aid and development finance, human capital, social inclusiveness, climate change, resource efficiency, education and destination management.   

“With growth comes power, and with power, comes responsibility,” UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifa said at the event opening. “With 1.8 billion travellers forecasted for 2030, this growth can and should, when well-managed, translate into opportunities for inclusive economic growth, for more and better jobs, decent jobs, to distribute wealth and share prosperity, to better know and respect each other and protect our natural and cultural heritage.”

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Michael Holness said, “We must pivot our tourism growth strategies in line with the key areas that the United Nation’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development promotes: inclusive and sustainable growth; social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction; resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage; mutual understanding, peace and security.”

Jamaican Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, recalled that more than 40 percent of the GDP in the Caribbean relies on tourism and that “sustainability in tourism is to our own survival”. He stressed that “global tourism has been identified as one of the catalysts to promote sustainable development”. 

The conference was preceded by a one day session on the future of tourism in the Caribbean with a strong message of “the Caribbean is open for business” following the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. The current challenges and risk affecting Caribbean destinations, namely natural disasters, the need to build resilience and promote multi-destination travel were at the heart of discussions.

The event has been organised in collaboration with Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHTA), Chemonics International, a leading international development firm, the George Washington University and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).



International investors and experts land in Brisbane and North Queensland for bioproduct and bioenergy symposium

FIFTEEN international bioproduct and bioenergy investors and experts, along with many Australian industry leaders, will present at The Australasian Bioproducts and Bioenergy Symposium (TABBS) in Brisbane on October 20.

The line-up includes high profile speakers from Africa, Canada, Japan and the US, who will be in Queensland for one week – visiting Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville.

Hosted by Life Sciences Queensland Ltd (LSQ), the Symposium and week-long regional tour will bring together key local and international industry stakeholders including fuel and energy companies, agricultural companies, investors and funding agencies, transport and airline industry representatives, bioenergy researchers, program directors, and policy advisors. 

“Having this many high caliber international industry stakeholders here at one time – and visiting a number of regional centres, shows that Queensland is now on the global investment opportunities map," LSQ CEO Mario Pennisi said.

TABBS will provide an opportunity for global industry stakeholders to come together, share their experiences and cooperate to uncover this potential, grow their businesses and help create a dynamic, internationally competitive and sustainable life sciences industry.”

Centred on the theme The Bioeconomy - It’s Getting Hotter in the Tropics, the event will seek to engage leaders from the national and international bioenergy and bioproducts industry and research community to explore the various opportunities this area provides for future economic development and jobs in Queensland.

Visitors include representatives from the US Navy, Agrisoma, Aurora Equity, Genomatica, CO2 Institute, BIC and Mercurius Biorefining Inc.

“The challenges faced by economies in tropical regions, require innovative and practical solutions. Working to address them, nations have certainly made progress across a range of areas - including economic, environmental and social - but there is still significant untouched potential to be realised in the tropics,” Mr Pennisi said.

In the lead up to the Brisbane symposium a delegation of the experts will present at Regional Satellite Events in Gladstone (October 17), Rockhampton and Mackay (October 18) and Townsville (October 19), and will be looking to meet with mayors and other community stakeholders.

The TABBS Satellite Events aim to provide regional communities with opportunities to hear international perspectives on the bioeconomy and give those regions the platform to present their local opportunities to the international experts for their consideration.



Suits into wetsuits – Byron transitions for business events

BYRON BAY can easily argue its case for being Australia’s favourite leisure destination, but now the region is enticing the business events market.

vast array of activities on offer in Byron ensures that conferencing is not only unforgettable, but delegates return motivated and energised.

“Byron is the perfect place to get conferencing delegates moving and motivated,” Byron Business Events Bureau executive officer Jen Murphy said. 

Ms Murphy said the region was able to help companies to realise the research that proved healthy changes in employees would deliver better business returns.

She said research by the Harvard Business Review shoed that some workplace wellness programs had delivered a return of $2.71 for every dollar spent.

“Conferencing with a wellness aspect supports and encourages employees to be healthy and perform better,” Ms Murphy said.

“Byron’s pristine natural beachside and forest environments provide plenty of activity options for delegates to get outdoors, have fun and participate in team building activities like surfing, hot air ballooning, kayaking, whale watching, circus arts and cooking.

“In Byron the outdoor activities are so good that you might have trouble enticing your delegates back into the conference room,” she joked.

Ms Murphy said Byron’s natural beauty, prolific wellness culture and host of exciting activities “gives companies the greatest potential to invigorate their people, foster teamwork and enhance creative thinking, which in turn boosts business returns”.

Staffed by a team of highly experienced conferencing professionals, the Byron Business Events Bureau was formed to support the growing interest in Byron as a conference and business events destination.

“Byron is Australia's best conference destination,” Ms Murphy said. “That’s because it’s easily accessible, with stunning world class venues and quality suppliers, that give delegates unforgettable experiences in team building and development.”




ICC Sydney named Australia’s best infrastructure project

INTERNATIONAL Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) has already changed Australia’s events landscape and now it has also been named Australia’s best infrastructure project at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s National Infrastructure Awards.

The judges recognised ICC Sydney for its design excellence, construction timeline and outstanding financial performance, and additionally for its role in “delivering the nation a new and emblematic piece of business events and tourism infrastructure”.  

ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said the venue was already performing extremely well for Sydney, New South Wales and the nation, having delivered almost 200 events and welcomed more than 300,000 people through its doors since opening on December 20, 2016.

“ICC Sydney is a new $1.5 billion events precinct that has been specifically designed to welcome more events and patrons to Sydney while providing the best possible experience for them whilst here,” Mr Donaghy said.

“We’ve already received fantastic client feedback about both the venue and the service delivery of our team. A further endorsement of the venue, and our management, has been the repeat business confirmed by clients that have held successful events with us during our first months of operation.

“AEG Ogden is extremely privileged to be operating the venue and the entire team is very proud of the award bestowed on ICC Sydney’s design and delivery consortium,” he said.

NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Andrew Constance said the venue was already living up to the aspirations the NSW Government had envisioned for it.

“ICC Sydney was delivered on time and on budget and we are happy to see it is already a key performer in the New South Wales infrastructure pipeline,” Mr Constance said.

“It is the epicentre of a 20-hectare transformation of Darling Harbour by the NSW Government to highlight Sydney as the first choice in Australia and the Asia Pacific region for the major events industry.”

A NSW Government project, ICC Sydney was delivered in partnership with Darling Harbour Live, comprising Lendlease, Hostplus, First State Super, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless FM.