Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett said the first Board of Governors and Associates meeting for the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre in London was a huge success. It covered a range of key operational and policy arrangements, concerning the January 2019 opening of the Centre.
“We made a number of decisions, which will have to be carried out within the next three months. Firstly, the Centre will develop a toolkit for resilience. Secondly, we will develop a major program for the creation of a barometer, which will measure the level of resilience in countries. This is the first of its kind and will also make Jamaica a true centre of reference, for critical resilience development issues,” said Minister Bartlett.
The meeting was held on November 4, at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel and lasted for approximately 4 hours. It was chaired by former United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, who has committed to serving as Chairman pro tem.
The Tourism Minister, who served as co-chair, noted that the meeting was well-attended by all the board members, including video conferencing connections with honorary chairperson of the Centre, the Most Hon. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, as well as, Hon Earl Jarret – board member and General Manager of the Jamaica National Building Society.
The Centre will be housed at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus and is being designed to be the world’s leading research, advocacy, training and policy institution, to assist global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally.
“Another key point which was raised during our meeting was the establishment of a chair, at the University of the West Indies, on innovation and resilience. This chair will be operating through the university system but will be supported fully and resourced by the Centre,” said the Minister.
The Chairperson will be responsible for the overall management of the Centre. Additionally, he/she will provide the operational, organizational, and institutional direction of the Centre, and will report directly to the Board of Governors.
“We had a number of groups that became collaborators of the Centre and will give it a big push initially, in terms of how it will be able to start operating on a global basis, before our launch in January. These new partners include The International Institution for Investment in Tourism, The Pacific Asia Travel Association and The Mediterranean Tourism Foundation. On Wednesday, another major entity will partner with the centre as well,” said the Minister.
He went on to note that “these partners are separate from our global partners, such as the UNWTO, The World Travel & Tourism Council and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association that were originally a part of the organizational structure. These developments have made it clear that this is becoming the most significant global institution in the world, in relation to resilience and crisis management issues.”