Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, recently participated in a global ministerial panel discussion on rethinking the global travel and tourism industry with a comprehensive recovery plan, which encourages innovation and investment to rebuild destinations.
The discussions took place earlier this week during the annual International Tourism and Investment Conference in London, held in partnership with the World Travel Market (WTM), which took place on a virtual platform, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, consequent social distancing and global travel restrictions.
“The aspirational objectives of destinations for recovery in the post-COVID era are increasingly being reflected in the rolling out of comprehensive recovery plans for the tourism sector which seek to leverage the collective power and resources of key stakeholders including: governments, international tourism bodies, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, booking agencies etc.,” said Bartlett.
“Recovery has become almost synonymous with resilience-building. The sector needs to become more adaptable, resilient and agile. This pandemic has presented us with a unique opportunity to transition towards a more balanced tourism as it is anticipated that more international tourists will opt for “sustainable” destinations in the post-COVID era,” he added.
Other Ministers joining the panel included Hon. Nigel Huddleston, Minister of Tourism, UK; Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Kenya; Hon. Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, Minister of Tourism, Brazil; and Hon. Elena Kountoura, Member of the European Parliament.
Minister Bartlett also reiterated the call for the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Fund to equip vulnerable countries to be able to respond, manage, and to then recover and grow after disruptions. The Fund would especially target destinations that are recognized as facing high vulnerability but have insufficient financial capacity to prepare for and recover quickly from disruptions.
“It is also important for policymakers, industry leaders, investors and financial institutions to collaborate more closely to support investments and provide incentives to support product differentiation into areas such as health, wellness and the green economy which are linked to the promotion of more sustainable behaviors and practices by all involved in the tourism value chain,” said Bartlett.
The global tourism investment summit was organized with the goal of helping to accelerate the recovery of travel and tourism businesses and restore travelers’ confidence after the COVID-19 pandemic. It brought together global leading voices and luminaries across different segments to discuss the future of the travel and tourism industry, its challenges, opportunities, financial strategies and mechanisms required to aid its successful recovery.
The three-day summit began on November 9 under the theme: “Invest, Finance and Rebuild the Travel and Tourism Industry.” Bartlett also participated in the resilience panel discussion, on Tuesday November 10, 2020.