Jamaica Tourist Board Reaffirms Commitment to Diaspora

Kamina Johnson-Smith

NEW YORK, NY – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) has reaffirmed its commitment to the Diaspora with the partnership support of the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, recently.  Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, the four-day conference which had as its theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’, has been positioned as the global forum that connects Jamaicans from all over the world for inclusive dialogue and developing concrete actions in vital areas of national importance.

“The Diaspora has long been seen as critical to the Jamaica Tourist Board’s marketing efforts as Jamaicans living abroad serve as our ambassadors globally, especially in our primary source markets,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We are so pleased to have partnered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, hosting key print journalists from North America to be able to provide those in Diaspora with updates with regard to the National Diaspora Policy, new developments in the tourism sector and other issues of concern.”

As part of its sponsorship, the Board hosted members of the international media from North America, affording them an opportunity to attend and provide coverage of the conference and experience some of the capital city’s attractions including Devon House as well as brunch at Strawberry Hill.

During the conference, a proposal was tabled for the establishment of the Global Jamaica Diaspora and Global Jamaica Youth Councils. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, said the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council is intended to be an expanded and inclusive body with a wide membership of individuals “who hold Jamaica at the forefront of their voluntary efforts”.

Former Executive Director of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute Professor Neville Ying, was presented with the inaugural Jamaica Diaspora and Friends Excellence Award for his dedicated service to establishing links between Jamaica and its diaspora community. During his almost 10 years as the head of the Diaspora Institute, Professor Ying was responsible for the development and execution of strategic initiatives for engaging and empowering members of the Jamaican Diaspora to maximize their contributions to the economic and social development of Jamaica.