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State minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment Damian Crawford (left) and Pulse Entertainment CEO Kingsley Cooper peruse a section of the 'Tourism Reader for the Caribbean'. - Contributed Photos
Deputy director of tourism Sandra Scott presents a gift package to Washington-based tourism expert Dr Donald Hawkins after he made his presentation at the opening of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar. 
Presenters at the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre between November 20 and 21, Johnson Johnrose (left), communications specialist at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and Dr Donald Hawkins, tourism specialist, unwind at the close of the seminar.
Jason Hall, deputy director at the Jamaica Tourist Board, with responsibilities for cruise shipping, and Carole Beckford, film commissioner at JAMPRO, in discussion during the closing session of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar.
Communications specialist, Marline Stephenson-Dalley (left), accepts a pictorial book of Jamaica from Sandra Scott, deputy director of tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board. Stephenson-Dalley was the emcee at the closing session of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre between November 20 and 21.This was the sixth convening of the event in Jamaica. It is geared towards positioning the region's tourism product to take better advantages of opportunities in the marketplace.
Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook (left) and Clive Forbes, general manager at Caribbean Airlines (Jamaica), in a brief discussion during the opening of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar. 
President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association Nicola Madden-Greig holds the attention of Alvaro Valeriani (left), regional vice-president, sales and marketing at Hyatt Hotels Corporation; and Carlos Vogeler, a director at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. They were attending the opening of the 2014 staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre between November 20 and 21.
Sustainable tourism expert Dr Donald Hawkins (left) engages Caribbean Tourism Organisation senior specialists Winfield Griffith (centre) and Johnson Johnrose in a conversation during the opening of the 2014 staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre between November 20 and 21. 
Grammy award-winning producer Winston Harriott (left) with tourism experts Robert Singerman (centre) and Carlos Vogeler. They were at a welcome dinner last Wednesday at the Montego Bay Yacht Club to mark the start of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar, which was held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on November 20 and 21. 
Carlos Vogeler, a director at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, addresses attendees at the opening of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar. 
Tourism expert, Dr Donald Hawkins, reasons with the audience during a question and answer session at the opening of the 2014 Tourism Outlook Seminar.

Tourism Outlook Seminar hailed as huge success

After several riveting presentations by an impressive cadre of local, regional and international experts, the sixth staging of the Tourism Outlook Seminar (TOS 2014) has been hailed by participants as a tremendous success.

The seminar was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Enhancement Fund in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The seminar seeks to enable tourism partners to share ideas, examine best practices and discuss strategies for advancing tourism. Staged from November 20 to 21 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre the seminar was held under the theme, Tourism: Enhancing Social and Economic Impact. It attracted more than 250 delegates, including a wide cross section of tourism stakeholders including hoteliers, owners of attractions, government officials and university students.

Veteran hotelier and general manager of Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, Evatt Bloomfield, considered the seminar a success, citing that it was "quite instructive and informative". He got from it "information that I think was very enlightening, which certainly will help me as a hotel manager in looking at various aspects of my operations, such as access to market channels".

He noted that a critical consideration was the session on disaster risk management. That session titled The Management of Natural and Manmade Crises had a panel of experts that included the executive director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, Jamaica's Ronald Jackson; assistant US attorney from the Department of Justice, Jared Strauss, who focussed on cybercrime; emergency and crisis management expert, Miguel Rico Diener and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation's communication specialist, Johnson JohnRose.

While commending the panellists, Bloomfield said, "While many of us have been treating with these issues over the decades and have it ingrained, it's always good to have a fresh perspective as we become more aware of and in tune with not only the challenges, but the channels that are best used in mitigation."

Independent consultant, tourism educator and adjunct lecturer at the University of the West Indies, UWI, Western Jamaica Campus, Margaret Lawrence said, "As someone who has been in tourism for so long, I think this has been a very interesting seminar with lots of information, lots to take home, I am really very happy that I came."

For UWI Mona student, Rochelle Gordon, "it was really informative" and fellow student, Kay Williams, agreed, adding, "It was a good seminar; it was informative."

She was particularly interested in the presentation by UNWTO regional director for the Americas, Carlos Vogeler on Enhancing Competitiveness through Travel Facilitation.

"I leant a lot about the aspects of data being collected by them, how it relates to the Caribbean, and how the ministry here can use that data to better inform their marketing strategy," she said. 

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