Bahamas elected President of UNWTO CAM

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) elected The Bahamas as President of the Commission for the Americas (CAM) at the 22nd session General Assembly held in Chengdu, China, September 10 – 17, 2017. Bahamas Minister of Tourism and Aviation, the Hon. Dionisio D’Aguilar, will assume the seat on behalf of the country for the next two years.

“With such unique and diverse cultural and natural attributes that the Americas are blessed with, I pledged to work in collaboration with member States of the region to further develop and promote these attributes globally in an effort to enhance the quality of life of citizens through the advancement of tourism development,” D’Aguilar said.

Haiti and Brazil will serve as Vice-chairmen for the period 2017 - 2019.

The Commission for the Americas is one of six Regional Commissions that were established in 1975 as subsidiary organs of the UNWTO General Assembly. The commissions cover the following six regions of the world: Africa, Europe, the Americas, East Asia and the Pacific, the Middle East and South East Asia.

The ‎Commissions meet once a year with the objective of informing the UNWTO body through the Secretariat of any concerns or suggestions by its members to improve the organization’s ability to meet their needs. Each ‎Commission elects one Chairman and its Vice-Chairmen from among its Members ‎for a term of two years.‎‎

CAM comprises the third largest number of member countries, following Africa and Europe. In recent years, the CAM has seen increased participation in its annual meetings by affiliate members including private sector, academia, non-governmental agencies, etc., which significantly advances the goals of the UNWTO in developing public-private partnership in further developing the tourism economy.

The Americas region recorded 200 million international visitor arrivals in 2016, which represents an increase of 7.5 million visitors over the same period in 2015. With an annual 3.8% growth rate, the Americas pace with the world average of 3.9%. This growth in the Americas was fuelled by South America with Chile leading the way with a staggering 26% increase in arrivals, with strong demand from neighbouring Argentina. The Caribbean region contributed with a 5% growth in business due mainly to a robust increase of 13% in visitor arrival recorded in Cuba, the result of increased air connections from the US and expansion in hotel developments.