From November 27 to 29, Chemonics joins the U.N. World Tourism Organization, the Jamaican Ministry of Tourism, the World Bank Group, and others in Jamaica to discuss the continued importance of developing partnerships for sustainable tourism and development.


How can strong partnerships support sustainable tourism around the world? What roles should international development practitioners, financial organizations, governments, and the private sector play in tourism development? These are the kinds of questions that participants will tackle at the Conference on Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism, which takes place from November 27 to 29 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Organized by the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank, in collaboration with Chemonics, this three-day conference looks at how diverse actors are needed to build tourism industries that benefit local populations, promote long-term economic growth, and protect the environment. Other conference partners include the George Washington University, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the Caribbean Hotels and Tourism Association. A significant portion of the conference is dedicated to a “Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development” panel series, which looks at the five themes of the UNWTO’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.

Several development and tourism experts will present on behalf of Chemonics:

  • Global Overview: Setting the Framework — At this opening plenary session on Tuesday, November 28, President and CEO Susanna Mudge joins representatives from the World Travel and Tourism Council, World Bank Group, and Inter-American Development Bank, among others, to discuss priorities in tourism development.
  • Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development: Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth — On November 28, Deputy Chief of Party Ketevan Tchumburidze from USAID/Georgia’s Zrda project presents on economic growth in the Republic of Georgia at this moderated roundtable panel.
  • Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development: Social Inclusiveness, Employment, and Poverty Reduction — At another panel session on November 28, Jeff Wuorinen, senior vice president of the Middle East and North Africa region, moderates a discussion on creating jobs and boosting incomes.
  • Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development: Resource Efficiency, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change — Ecotourism specialist Steve Johnson shares his experience from South Africa at this third panel session on November 28, joining representatives from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and U.N. Environment Programme, among others.
  • Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development: Creative Industries, Cultural Values, Diversity, and Heritage — Maysa Shahateet, team leader from USAID/Jordan’s Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism project, presents on enterprise development in Jordan’s tourism sector at this moderated roundtable on November 28.
  • Deep Dive into Core Themes of Tourism Development: Mutual Understanding, Peace, and Security — In this final concurrent panel session on November 28, Michele Piercey, senior vice president of the Strategic Solutions and Communications Division, moderates a discussion among government representatives about ensuring that tourism is safe for both local populations and visitors.
  • The Future of the IY2017 — In this plenary on Wednesday, November 29, Susanna Mudge joins representatives from Hilton, the UNWTO, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to discuss how to continue maximizing tourism’s potential even as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development winds down.
  • Successful Models of Destination ManagementDirector Ibrahim Osta moderates this plenary on November 29 about the ways to manage and maximize tourism destinations. Damian Cook, a destination digital marketing expert who has worked with Chemonics, also joins this panel.
  • Education, Training, and InnovationJoseph Ruddy, team leader of USAID/Jordan’s Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism project, shares his experience of strengthening Jordan’s tourism workforce in this plenary on November 29, which is moderated by the Jamaican minister of tourism.
  • Cozumel: Partnerships in Action — In this final plenary on November 29, Michael Brown, director of the Environment and Natural Resources Practice, moderates a discussion on nature-based tourism and engaging local communities in sustainability efforts.

Since 1975, Chemonics’ inclusive and sustainable development has strengthened tourism in more than 56 countries. From marketing activities in Moldova to ecotourism efforts in Colombia to community-based tourism in India, our activities touch on all five of UNWTO’s themes for sustainable tourism for development.

“We often think about tourism from the perspective of a tourist, but it is so much more than that,” explains Chemonics President and CEO Susanna Mudge. “Tourism is a key driver of economic growth around the world. It also protects local environments and empowers local communities so they can serve as stewards. We are proud to sponsor this conference as an opportunity to strengthen international partnerships that will achieve both tourism and international development goals.”

Follow the tourism conversation on social media using #IY2017 and checking @chemonics for updates.