In recognition of the tremendous success of the Jamaica Tourism Centre of Innovation (JCTI) and the significant role of Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, in its establishment, has been invited by the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) to give the keynote address at its 54th Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Minister Bartlett who is the first Caribbean minister to be invited to speak at the SLHTA’s annual general meeting, left the island yesterday for St. Lucia and will speak tomorrow, July 20. He returns to Jamaica on Sunday, July 22.
In extending the invitation to Minister Bartlett, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) noted that along with member hotels, they have placed significant importance on increased training and educational opportunities for hospitality staff to keep them fired up and motivated.
The AGM will be held under the theme, “People, Passion, Purpose and Linkages; The Pathway to a Resilient Future,” which the SLHTA says, speaks to the new and exciting developments and issues being currently debated in the global tourism industry.
Minister Bartlett who has emerged globally as a strong voice for excellence in tourism through training, says, “I am very pleased to accept this invitation which will allow me to share the innovation and success of the Jamaica Tourism Centre of Innovation with our Caribbean brothers.”
He adds, “While within the region we are competing in the same marketplace, the reality is that for the most part the Caribbean is seen as one destination and so we have to be supportive of each other and ensure that collectively we offer to the travelling world, tourism service excellence that is second to none.”
Minister Bartlett says he is also pleased that the concept of Jamaica’s Tourism Linkages Network had caught the attention of other regional destinations, recognizing that people were at the heart of the industry and given a purpose for which to serve, matched by the passion for which Caribbean people are known, everyone stands to benefit.
Minister Bartlett will also be sharing with tourism partners in St Lucia, details of the Global Tourism Resilience Centre to be headquartered at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica in St Andrew as of September, this year.
Establishment of the center was the brainchild of Minister Bartlett was adopted in the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Montego Bay Declaration on “Jobs and Inclusive Growth: Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism” held last year November at the Montego Bay Convention Center on the occasion of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
It has been endorsed by UNWTO Member States and Affiliate Members, tourism administrations, international and regional organizations, local communities, private sector and academia. Among these are CARICOM, the University of the West Indies, World Bank Group (WBG), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Caribbean Development Bank, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHTA), Chemonics International, and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CEDEMA) through Mr. Ronald Jackson, the George Washington University and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Subsequently, several other tourism-based countries, including those in Asia and the Pacific group have endorsed the center and pledged their full support.
The UNWTO’s Declaration stipulates that “Governments, private sector, donors and the international and regional organizations shall support the establishment of a Global Tourism Resilience Centre in the Caribbean, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory, to assist destinations’ preparedness, management and recovery of crises which impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods.”
Minister Bartlett says all is in place for the Global Tourism Resilience Centre to start functioning in September with the official opening set for next year January as a feature of Caribbean Marketplace at the Montego Bay Convention Center.