Media Center

Press Release

OAS and Barbados Sign Memorandum of Understanding to Host the 22 Meeting of Ministers of Tourism in Bridgetown

  July 24, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, and the Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados, Richard Sealy, signed today a memorandum of understanding according to which the Caribbean country will host the 22nd Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, to be held on September 3 and 4 in Bridgetown, under the theme “Tourism Competitiveness: An Essential Component of Sustainability.”

During the signing ceremony, Secretary General Insulza welcomed the support provided by the Government of Barbados for the realization of the conference and said "the theme you have chosen is certainly in accordance with the times in which we live today in this industry where we need to be competitive." The head of the hemispheric institution particularly stressed that the next ministerial meeting should help deepen cooperation and dialogue between ministers, the private sector and academics in the field.

For his part, Minister Sealy said his country "is well poised and ready to deliver the Conference." The Barbados government representative stressed the importance of the next meeting, as tourism has become one of the most important industries in the world, and is a significant economic factor in the Caribbean. The Minister added that "tourism is not only an economic activity that generates employment, but is also a catalyst for achieving important strategic objectives: community development, cultural preservation, environmental sustainability and social inclusion."

The ceremony for the signing of the memorandum of understanding was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. The meeting was attended by the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Albert Ramdin; the Chair of the Permanent Council and Representative of Saint Lucia, Ambassador Sonia Johnny; the Permanent Representative of Barbados to the OAS, Ambassador John Beale; the coordinators of the regional groups SICA, Ambassador Nestor Mendez; ALADI, Ambassador Diego Pary; CARICOM, Ambassador Deborah-Mae Lovell; and the Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the OAS, Sherry Tross.

The Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism is the principal hemispheric forum for dialogue and policy development in tourism. The Congress serves as an important platform for the exchange of experiences and best practices and provides a mechanism to sponsor technical studies, strengthen communication between government agencies and the private sector, consider technical cooperation proposals, and support member states in their efforts to develop the tourism sector.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The B-Roll of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-321/14