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Jamaican Minister Elected First Vice-Chair of United Nations Tourism Committee

Jamaica has appointed its first vice-chair of the United Nations World Tourism (UNWTO) executive council, after making a successful bid for election at a UNWTO meeting in Campeche, Mexico last month. Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr. Wykeham McNeill was selected to represent Jamaica on the high ranking committee.

“It is a proud moment for the nation, and a historic achievement especially bearing in mind that we are a small island,” McNeill told The Gleaner via a phone call from the World Travel Market in London. “It is a strong testimony of the far-reaching impact of Jamaica on the other nations of the world, which we expect to be further strengthened by our projected positive short- and long-term growth and performance.”

The UNWTO council handles tourism policy and decisions that impact the international market, and presents its findings to the UN General Assembly. Jamaica will represent all of the Americas on the executive council throughout 2013. The country has previously held the second vice-chair.

According to The Gleaner, McNeil plans to introduce new measures to make international travel easier, including new procedures for the issuance of visas.

“We recognize that you have to have border security but the new technologies allow (countries) to address it in a more efficient way,” he said.

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